The House Approves Legislation Blocking Trump From Starting War With Iran Without Congressional Approval
The House of Representatives on Friday voted 251-170 to approve an amendment to block President Donald Trump from taking military action against Iran without Congressional approval.
The amendment would prohibit funding for U.S. military action against Iran unless Congress has declared war or enacted another specific statutory authorization.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), the amendment’s chief sponsor, touted the measure as sending a strong signal to Trump. Some Republicans broke rank to support it.
“It reminds the president that the American people, both Democrats and Republicans, don’t want another war in the Middle East,” Khanna told reporters “The president was fully aware of this. This is what he said when he campaigned, and he’s probably going to want to say it again when he campaigns again. So I think it’s a reminder to him of where public sentiment is and that he shouldn’t get too influenced by the Washington establishment.”
The amendment was a key demand of progressives as Democratic leaders seek their votes to pass the NDAA without Republican support.
Progressives think the NDAA’s $733 billion price tag is too high. But they have indicated they will support the bill anyway if key amendments pass, particularly ones related to Trump’s war powers.
The Iran amendment specifically was seen as urgent amid spiking tensions with Tehran. Trump said last month he was minutes away from launching a military strike on Iran after it shot down a U.S. drone.
“If my war hungry colleagues — some whom have already suggested that we invade Venezuela, North Korea and probably a few other countries before lunch time tomorrow — if they’re so certain in their case against Iran, let them bring their authorization to use military force against Iran to this very floor,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, who voted in favor of the legislation, said on the House floor.
Some Republicans, however, argued the amendment would tie Trump and the military’s hands in protecting against threats from Iran.