The House on Thursday approved a war powers resolution Democrats said would aim to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to take military action against Iran.
As Democrats looked to reassert the constitutional power given Congress to authorize war amid heightened tensions between the two countries, the measure passed along mostly party lines, 224-194, with eight Democrats splitting from Pelosi – although three Republicans crossed the aisle to vote with the majority.
Before the House’s action, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida explained why he was among the few GOP members who favored the war-powers resolution.
“I support the president. Killing Soleimani was the right decision. But engaging in another forever war in the Middle East would be the wrong decision, and that’s why I’m voting for this resolution,” Gaetz said on the House floor.
Independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan also voted in favor.
The resolution mandates that, without congressional approval, military hostilities against Iran must end within 30 days.
Before the vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized the U.S. drone attack on top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and said the resolution would send a clear statement that Trump should not take further military action against Iran without approval from Congress.
“Last week, in our view, the administration conducted a provocative disproportionate airstrike against Iran which endangered Americans, and did so without consulting Congress,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference.
“We will debate on the floor of the House,” Pelosi pledged. “We have no illusions about Iran, no illusions about Soleimani, who was a terrible person,” she said, referring to Soleimani. “But it’s not about how bad they are, it’s about how good we are, protecting the people in a way that prevents war and will not have us producing, again and again, generations of veterans who are suffering.”
On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said a classified briefing on Soleimani’s death was “insulting and demeaning.” He said it was so bad that he would now vote for a Democratic plan to limit Trump’s war powers against Iran, introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia. Trump could veto a bill if passed by both chambers of Congress.