House Passes War Powers Resolution Limiting Trump’s Military Actions Against Iran

House Passes War Powers Resolution Limiting Trump’s Military Actions Against Iran

The House voted 224-194 on Thursday in favor of a war powers resolution instructing President Trump to cease the use of military force against Iran if congressional approval is not obtained.

The vote largely fell along party lines, with eight Democrats opposing the measure, which directs the president “to terminate the use of United States Armed Forecs to engage in hostilities in or against Iran or any part of its government or military” unless Congress declares war or if there is “an imminent armed attack upon the United States.”

The resolution is non-binding, meaning it would not go to the president’s desk for a signature and have the weight of law. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Thursday that it was a statement by Congress that would not be “diminished by having the president veto it or not.”

The vote comes a day after national security officials briefed lawmakers behind closed doors to discuss the rationale behind Trump’s decision to launch an airstrike killing Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad. Democrats and some Republicans criticized the briefing, voicing frustrations that Congress was not fully engaged prior to the move.

“They struggled to identify anything,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) told reporters after Wednesday’s briefing, adding that administration officials told those in attendance that they “need to be ‘good little boys and girls and run along and not debate this in public.’ I find that absolutely insane. I think it’s unacceptable.”

A similar resolution from Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) is in the works in the upper chamber of Congress. Lee and Sen. Rand Paul (KY) said they would support it, although two more Republicans would have to join them to pass it. If so, the House would likely take up the resolution in order to send it to Trump for a signature.

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt is a writer and editor from New Hampshire whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, Slate and Areo Magazine, among other places. He holds a BA in Political Science and History from Boston University.