President Trump on Wednesday vetoed a resolution that directs his administration to terminate armed hostilities against Iran that are not “explicitly authorized” by Congress.
A handful of Republicans in both chambers supported the rebuke after Mr. Trump took out a top Iranian general in January.
“This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party. The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands,” Mr. Trump said in a veto statement.
Mr. Trump said the measure was misguided because the U.S. is not at war with Iran but rather he authorized a targeted strike on General Qassem Soleimani while he was in Iraq.
Tehran responded with missile attacks on U.S. soldiers. The attacks didn’t kill American forces but injured scores.
Mr. Trump also took exception to the idea that his use of force must only be in response to a likely attack.
“The resolution implies that the president’s constitutional authority to use military force is limited to defense of the United States and its forces against imminent attack. That is incorrect,” Mr. Trump said. “We live in a hostile world of evolving threats, and the Constitution recognizes that the president must be able to anticipate our adversaries’ next moves and take swift and decisive action in response. That’s what I did!”