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BREAKING: Clinton to Join Webb on Iran Bill

BREAKING: Clinton to Join Webb on Iran Bill updated

In March, James Webb introduced legislation demanding that the President seek
congressional approval before striking Iran.

I’ve just learned that Senator Hillary Clinton will co-sponsor legislation
with Webb and re-introduce it into the Senate. Exact language isn’t available,
but this is what Webb offered in March.

Specifically, the amendment requires that the President seek congressional
authorization prior to commencing any broad military action in Iran and it
allows the following exceptions: First, military operations or activities
that would directly repel an attack launched from within the territory of
Iran. Second, those activities that would directly thwart an imminent attack
that would be launched from Iran. Third, military operations or activities
that would be in hot pursuit of forces engaged outside the territory of Iran
who thereafter would enter Iran. And finally, those intelligence collection
activities that have been properly noticed to the appropriate committees of

Senator Jim
Webb Introduces Iran Amendment

Clinton took a lot of heat, including from yours truly, for voting for the Lieberman-Kyl legislation. But Clinton understands what happened with the Iraq authorization bill, at the
same time she believes Iran’s Revolutionary Guards is a terrorist organization.
She obviously also wants to send a message to Bush as well. Joining Webb
in co-sponsoring this legislation is critically important and a progressive move.

I’ll offer more as it’s available.

UPDATE II: Senator Clinton’s statement on co-sponsorship of Webb legislation.


Reiterates that President Bush Needs Congressional
Authorization Before Attacking Iran

Washington, DC – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced
that she is co-sponsoring legislation introduced by Senator Jim Webb (D-VA)
that prohibits the use of funds for military operations against Iran without
explicit Congressional authorization (S. 759).

Senator Clinton – who has been at the forefront of calling on President Bush
to seek authorization from Congress before taking military action against
Iran (Speech on the Senate Floor from February)
– said today, “In February, I took to the Senate floor to warn that President
Bush needs Congressional Authorization before attacking Iran. Given recent
reports about Administration military planning toward Iran and to ensure that
Congress plays a proper role in the authorization of any potential military
force, today I have added myself as a co-sponsor of a bill introduced by Senator
Jim Webb which prohibits the use of funds for military action in Iran without
authorization by Congress.”

Senator Clinton added, “Iran has gained expanded influence in Iraq and
the region as a result of the Bush Administration’s polices which have also
rejected diplomacy as a tool for addressing Iranian ambitions. I continue
to support and advocate for a policy of entering into talks with Iran, because
robust diplomacy is a prerequisite to achieving our aims. I also support strong
economic sanctions against Iran, including designating the Iranian Revolutionary
Guards as a terrorist organization, to improve our leverage with the Iranian
“Any military action against Iran will have
an immediate impact on our troops serving in Iraq, our allies in the region
as well as long term U.S. strategic interests. Senator Webb’s legislation
insures that Congress will play its constitutional role of providing proper
oversight over the Administration’s policy toward Iran. Congressional oversight
and debate can help avoid the mistakes and blunders that have afflicted U.S.
policy in Iraq. We cannot allow recent history to repeat itself.”

UPDATE: Steve Clemons weighs in and gets it exactly right. Here’s a snippet, but make sure you read his whole analysis.

Hillary Clinton needs to apply her ascending political weight to the passage of the Webb resolution. It is not enough to just support a resolution and watch it languish. This is a measure that needs to be passed and sent to the White House to rob legitimacy from any conflict Cheney and his followers might engineer in the waning days of this administration.
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