The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a non-binding War Powers Resolution that would prohibit President Donald Trump from taking further military action against Iran without first gaining congressional approval.
The resolution—officially House Concurrent Resolution 83—was passed 224-194, largely along party lines with just three Republicans and one Independent joining with Democrats in favor of the measure. While eight Democrats voted against the resolution, four others did not vote. Read the full roll call here.
“Today, the House exercised our constitutional duty. We reminded the occupant of the White House that the power to declare war resides with Congress. Our message is loud and clear: #NoWarWithIran.” —Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)“Today, the House exercised our constitutional duty,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) following the vote. “We reminded the occupant of the White House that the power to declare war resides with Congress. Our message is loud and clear: #NoWarWithIran.”
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), lead sponsor of the resolution, said it should serve to “make clear that if the president wants to take us to war, he must get authorization from Congress.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a statement, said that even as the resolution is non-binding—and must now pass the U.S. Senate—it still has “real teeth” because it serves as an official statement of the U.S. Congress.
Even as Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said earlier in the day the measure “has as much force of law as a New Year’s resolution,” Pelosi countered by saying the power vested in the resolution could not be “diminished by having the president veto it or not.”
In a statement, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, celebrated the resolution’s approval in the House and said, “The People do not want an endless war with Iran, they want diplomacy and de-escalation.”
Noting that the resolution may not ultimately prevent Trump from taking further belligerent actions, Pocan said more must be done to curb the worst instincts of the president and those Republicans backing his hawkish and reckless foreign policy.
Now, Pocan added, members of Congress should move to pass both Rep. Barbara Lee’s legislation to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq and a bill by Rep. Ro Khanna—and co-sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Senate—that would prohibit any funding for a military attack on Iran.
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“Congress has been silent for too long,” Pocan said. “It’s time we reclaim our Constitutional authority over military action from presidents intent on fight forever wars.”
Ahead of the vote, Khanna explained why it was so vital for lawmakers to do exactly that:
Generations from now, the world is going to look back at our government and wonder why we were so obsessed with military interventions across the globe. pic.twitter.com/9pzCluHZCd
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) January 9, 2020
Passage in the House came as Americans took to the streets nationwide to participate in ‘No War With Iran’ demonstrations organized by progressive advocacy and anti-war groups who have demanded that Trump’s warmongering be put to an immediate halt.
Ahead of the marches this week, the advocacy group Indivisible, one of the coalition members, said it will be people in the streets and it will be voters in 2020 who remember where their lawmakers stood on the issue of war and peace.
“The anti-war majority of Americans will be paying close attention to what their members of Congress do,” the group declared, “not what they say.”Print