The U.S. House on Thursday voted to approve a war powers resolution
aimed at restricting President Donald Trump's ability to strike Iran
militarily following a pair of missile strikes by Tehran against
U.S.-held bases in Iraq.
The resolution passed by a vote of 224-194 with Republican Reps. Thomas
Massie, Matt Gaetz and Francis Rooney voting with the Democratic
majority to approve, while Democratic Reps. Max Rose, Ben McAdams,
Anthony Brindisi, Joe Cunningham, Elaine Luria, Josh Gottenheimer,
Kendra Horn and Stephanie Murphy voted against it.
Gaetz, R-Fla., told The Hill he felt comfortable voting for the
resolution after the passage of an amendment he presented stripping
language criticizing Trump for targeting Iranian military commander
"I don't think that our country needs to get pulled into another forever
Middle East war in the absence of congressional approval," he said.
Rose, D-N.Y., said he believes Congress "must be proactive" in
fulfilling constitutional duties regarding declaring war and authorizing
military force but that he doesn't believe the resolution works toward
"President Trump was justified in killing a terrorist who was
responsible for the murder of hundreds of American service members and
was in the process of planning to kill more," he said. "I appreciate the
president's efforts to de-escalate conflict in the face of Iranian
retaliation and support his diplomatic efforts and economic sanctions to
advance our goals of ensuring Iran does not gain nuclear weapons and to
end their support of terrorist activities."
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., sponsored the resolution to end the
president's ability to launch military actions without express
During a campaign rally in Ohio Thursday night, Trump lambasted the
Democrats for criticizing his decision to order the airstrike that
killed Soleimani, calling him "the king of the roadside bomb," and for
not discussing it with Congress beforehand.
"The radical left Democrats have expressed outrage over the termination
of this horrible terrorist," he said before thousands in Toledo. "And,
you know, instead they should be outraged by Soleimani's savage crimes
and the fact that his countless victims were denied justice."
He said the decision to go ahead with the strike was made in a split
second and there wasn't time to notify House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, "who
isn't operating with a full deck."
Pelosi announced the vote Wednesday after angry Democratic leaders
emerged from a closed-door meeting with top administration officials
that addressed the justifications used for last week's airstrike that
killed Soleimani in Iraq.
Soleimani's death prompted Tehran to retaliate Wednesday with missile
attacks on two military bases holding American troops in Iraq. Iranian
media reported dozens of American troops were killed, but U.S. defense
officials said no service members were even hurt by the strikes.
Echoing earlier statements by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump
dismissed Iran's counterattack in a national speech Wednesday in which
he justified Soleimani's death by calling him a "ruthless terrorist"
with American and Iraqi blood on his hands.
Trump also warned Iran against further provocation.
"Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal and fast," he said.
"We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and
economic, is the best deterrent."
Trump has previously threatened military action against foreign
adversaries like Iran and North Korea, but House Democrats want to
ensure he won't act unilaterally. After Wednesday's private meeting,
they said they were disconcerted the administration's argument for
killing Soleimani wasn't more concrete.
"There was no raw evidence presented that this was an imminent threat," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington.
"I didn't hear anything in the briefing that there was a lawful basis
for the attack and that the threat was imminent," added Rep. David
Cicilline of Rhode Island.
"Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the
administration's decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and
about its lack of strategy moving forward," Pelosi said Wednesday. "Our
concerns were not addressed by the president's insufficient War Powers
Act notification and by the administration's briefing today."
Trump tweeted Thursday that he hopes "all House Republicans will vote
against Crazy Nancy Pelosi's War Powers Resolution," citing
The Republican-held Senate introduced a bipartisan resolution on
Wednesday that underscores the fact Trump does not have congressional
authorization to pursue military action against Iran.
Introduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., the
resolution warns that government authorizations to use military force
against terrorists and the state of Iraq, adopted in 2001 and 2002 in
the early stages of the U.S. war on terror, do not legally permit the
Trump administration to unilaterally launch military action against
Join Geezgo for free. Use Geezgo's end-to-end encrypted Chat with your Closenets (friends, relatives, colleague etc) in personalized ways.>>