— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 9, 2020
WASHINGTON — The House adopted a war powers resolution Thursday with the aim of limiting President Donald Trump’s military actions against Iran.
The adoption of the measure 224-194 on a largely party-line vote came amid heightened tensions between the two countries after the United States killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iran retaliated with a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi airbases housing U.S. forces.
Republicans Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Matt Gaetz and Francis Rooney, both of Florida, voted for the measure, while eight Democrats voted against it: Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Ben McAdams of Utah, Anthony Brindisi, Stephanie Murphy and Max Rose, all of New York.
Specifically, it directs the president to terminate the use of U.S. armed forces to engage in hostilities against Iran unless Congress has declared war or enacted a specific authorization or unless military action is necessary to defend against an imminent attack.
The legislation also makes clear that Iran’s government is a lead state sponsor of terrorism and that Soleimani was the “lead architect” of destabilizing activities around the world. It further states the U.S. has an “inherent right to self-defense against imminent armed attacks” and “maintains the right to ensure the safety of diplomatic personnel serving abroad.”
Although Pelosi said the measure has “real teeth,” because it is a concurrent resolution, it would not have to go to the president’s desk for his signature, leading GOP lawmakers to assert that the measure would be legally nonbinding.
“This is a statement of the Congress of the United States. I will not have that statement diminished by having the president veto it or not,” Pelosi said.
A senior Democratic aide noted that the War Powers Act sets out a clear process for the House legislation. The law says “forces shall be removed by the president if Congress so directs by concurrent resolution.”
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 9, 2020
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) January 9, 2020
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— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 3, 2020