An attempt to tie the president’s hands:
If enacted, Webb’s bill would ensure that “no funds … may be obligated or expended for military operations or activities within or above the territory of Iran, or within the territorial waters of Iran, except pursuant to a specific authorization of Congress.”
Actually, it’s not as bad as it sounds. With some simple maneuvering in Congress it could in fact, free the president’s hands, putting him on stronger Constitutional ground if it does come time to bomb Iran.
The bill has a number of exceptions, however. The proposal would allow military action under the following scenarios without prior congressional authorization:
– When the action is aimed at repelling an attack launched or about to be launched from inside Iran;
– When military forces are in “hot pursuit” of enemy forces fleeing into Iran; and
– When the military is supporting intelligence gathering.
The bill would require the president to submit a report to Congress within 24 hours justifying any spending that would support any of the exceptions.
How about an amendment with another exception for preventing Iran from going nuclear? Most Democrats claim to be against Iranian nukes, after all, and surely some of them are serious, so it would have to have some chance of passing.