Congress is not an exemplar of efficiency these days, as partisan gridlock is intensified by the upcoming verdicts to be rendered by voters in November, not to mention the distraction caused by the campaigning being done in order to persuade the aforementioned voters.
The Senate, however, has managed to get a few things done. They passed a resolution early Saturday which explicitly rules out containment on the issue of Iran. The measure is non-binding, but the strength of the message was intensified by the overwhelming support it received – 90 votes in favor to only 1 against.
The sole contrarian was Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, son of erstwhile GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, who feared the resolution would be interpreted as an excuse for the use of military force.
But the resolution passed by the chamber includes language stating that it shouldn’t be interpreted as declaring war or even authorizing the use of force.
The statement on Iran comes days after another large bipartisan group of senators (76 altogether) wrote a letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urging the EU to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
That letter is also, of course, non-binding, and this message has been delivered many times before by Israel and key US figures to no avail. But it’s a new year, so maybe leaves have been turned in Europe.
And it least gives members of Congress something they can point to having done when they head home to court constituents.