hands are tied
see tie one's hands.
Why Veterans Day And The Number 11 Are Tied TogetherNovember 11th is the 315th day of the year (except on leap years). It’s also Veterans Day, a federal holiday honoring all military veterans.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.