Fears that President Trump could be laying the groundwork for a war with Iran are fueling a wave of congressional initiatives to restrain him, but significant political hurdles could complicate lawmakers’ chances of success.
Most of the backlash has been driven by Democrats wary of Trump’s moves to spurn Tehran — such as ripping up a nuclear deal and labeling the country’s elite military unit as a terrorist group — while he declares an emergency to expedite arms sales to its regional nemesis Saudi Arabia, despite the kingdom’s role in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and its continued attacks on civilians in Yemen’s civil war.
A cadre of Republicans — including Sens. Todd C. Young (Ind.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), a Trump ally — have joined the clamor to limit the president’s authority, inspired by what they see as end runs around Congress that could exacerbate regional instability, even if they otherwise support Trump’s stance against Iran.