1. Press Release
  2. Middle East & Iran

Quaker Lobby Applauds Senate Vote to Prevent War with Iran

By Timothy McHugh, June 28, 2019


Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) celebrated today’s Senate action on Iran, which saw a bipartisan majority vote of 50-40, to block President Trump from attacking Iran without prior congressional authorization. Although the amendment, sponsored by Senators Tom Udall (NM) and Tim Kaine (VA), did not meet the 60-vote threshold required for inclusion in the defense policy bill, it sent a strong message that the Senate will not stand idly by while the president leads the country into yet another devastating Middle East war.

Contact: Tim McHugh, Friends Committee on National Legislation, media@fcnl.org; 202-903-2515

“Let us be clear: there is no such thing as a quick, simple or painless war. A U.S. military attack against Iran will lead to incalculable death, destruction, and human suffering, as well as unsustainable economic and environmental costs,” said Diane Randall, FCNL’s executive secretary. “Congress must insist that a war not be launched without their approval – and further, that it not be launched at all.”

Tensions between the United States and Iran have been growing ever since the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, which had prevented the growth of Iran’s nuclear program. With threats escalating on both sides, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently told Congress that the 2001 AUMF could be used to justify military action against Iran, and President Trump said he doesn’t need congressional approval to attack Iran.

“Today’s vote sends a clear message that the elected representatives of the American people do not want a war with Iran,” said Diana Ohlbaum, FCNL’s Senior Strategist and Legislative Director for Foreign Policy. “This cavalier attitude that the president can simply start bombing a country, without the approval of Congress and without considering the potential consequences, is a danger to our democracy and to our national security. I’m heartened by the Senate vote and hopeful that the House will send its own strong message against war with Iran when it returns in July.”

Today’s Senate action is just the latest in a string of war-related defeats for the Trump administration, ranging from the House vote to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to the bicameral disapproval of proposed Saudi arms sales. It was originally cosponsored by Senators Jeff Merkley (OR), Rand Paul (KY), Dick Durbin (IL), Chris Murphy (CT), and Mike Lee (UT), and received the support of 51 Senators, one of whom missed the vote due to family obligations.

To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.

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Timothy McHugh

  • Director of Media Relations

Tim leads organizational efforts to communicate about issues, victories, priorities, and updates through all available news channels – specifically the major media outlets. He is responsible for providing FCNL staff with opportunities to convey our message – in print and through the airways – to the public and throughout the country. He keeps FCNL issues and staff on the collective radars of reporters and journalists nationwide. Lastly, he runs FCNL several media-focused social media channels.