House to vote on limiting Trump's military powers with Iran after Soleimani killing




  • In Politics
  • 2020-01-09 16:05:32Z
  • By USA TODAY
House to vote on limiting Trump\
House to vote on limiting Trump\'s military powers with Iran after Soleimani killing  

WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives is set to vote Thursday on a war powers resolution that would curb President Donald Trump's ability to wage military action on Iran without congressional approval.

The debate over the resolution will focus on Trump's order to kill top Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and the possibility of further escalation between the United States and Iran.

In a Thursday morning tweet, President Donald Trump slammed the resolution as "another Democrat fraud" and "Presidential harassment," adding that he hoped all congressional Republicans would vote against it.

But it's not certain all Republicans will vote against the resolution. While some congressional Republicans have argued the Trump administration does not need further congressional approval for military actions against Iran, others have vocally criticized the administration's handling of the process.

More: 'Wars cost': Veterans have a message as tensions reach a 12-year high in the Middle East

Coming out of a classified briefing with top Trump administration officials on the killing of Soleimani, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, called it the "the worst briefing I've had on a military issue in my nine years" in the Senate.

"It is not acceptable," a furious Lee told reporters, "to come in and tell us that we can't debate and discuss the appropriateness of military intervention against Iran. It's un-American. It's unconstitutional. And it's wrong. And I hope and expect that they will show greater deference to their own limited power in the future."

Both Lee and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said they would support a version of the legislation introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., in the Senate.

In an address Wednesday, Trump said the United States would authorize further sanctions against Iran in the wake of Iranian missile attacks on U.S. bases rather than taking military action in response.

"Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world," Trump said.

Congressional Democrats have heavily criticized the Trump administration for not consulting Congress on the Soleimani strike.

The classified briefings given to all members of Congress yesterday left lawmakers split mostly along party lines, with most Republicans saying they were satisfied with the administration's explanation for the Soleimani strike, and Democrats saying they were "unconvinced."

The legislation's sponsor, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., said in a statement released Thursday that the resolution was intended to force a debate about congressional authorization on war powers.

"I feel strongly that Congress has long abdicated its responsibility, as laid out in the Constitution, to make the hard decisions we owe our troops and our country when it comes to authorizing war," Slotkin said in a statement.

More: Exclusive: Americans say Soleimani's killing made US less safe, Trump 'reckless' on Iran

Under the War Powers Act of 1973, whenever military forces are engaged in conflict outside U.S. borders without congressional authorization, the passage of a resolution like the one under consideration in both the House and Senate can force their withdrawal.

If the resolution passes the House, it will then go to the Senate for consideration, though it does not have be signed by the president.

A senior Democratic aide acknowledged this procedure, adding that Trump could choose to ignore the resolution since it does not carry the force of law, but the passage of the resolution would make congressional intent clear.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Pelosi said the House might also consider two other pieces of legislation related to congressional war powers. One bill, from Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., would bar the use of funds for military action with Iran without congressional approval.

The other, from Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., would repeal a 2002 authorization for military force against Iraq that administration officials have cited as part of their legal justification for killing Soleimani.

Contributing: Christal Hayes

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Iran: House to vote on limiting Trump's ability to wage war with Iran

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