- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2020

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Monday he supports efforts to block funding for any coming war with Iran.

Following the drone strike killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week, the New York Democrat co-authored a letter to President Trump pushing for classified intelligence behind the action to be made public. Mr. Schumer said on the Senate floor Monday he has several unanswered questions and stood with his Democratic colleagues’ actions to thwart Mr. Trump’s foreign policy.

Specifically, Mr. Schumer said he supports the proposal by Sen. Bernard Sanders to block funding for military action against Iran. The minority leader also expressed approval for Sen. Tim Kaine’s effort to force a debate and a vote on future action in Iran.

“All of the [president’s] tweeting and bravado [and] strategic thinking and long-term foreign policy goals and ways to achieve those goals, this administration seems to be devoid of that,” Mr. Schumer said. “It certainly was when it came to North Korea, it certainly was when it came to Syria, and it occurred with Russia and it seems likely to happen again [with] Iran.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that the Trump administration is preparing an all-senators briefing about the killing of Soleimani on Wednesday. The Kentucky Republican said the briefing will be led by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“Can we not at least wait until we know the facts? Can we not maintain a shred, just a shred of national unity for five minutes, for five minutes before deepening the partisan trenches?” Mr. McConnell asked on the Senate floor. “Must Democrats’ distaste [for Mr. Trump] dominate every thought they express and every decision that they make? Is that really the seriousness that this situation deserves?”

Mr. McConnell added that he expected the Senate committees with relevant oversight responsibilities would hold hearings and senators would have numerous opportunities to ask questions and get answers about the government’s actions in the Middle East.

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