On Thursday, Jan. 9, the Democratic-controlled House passed a resolution stating that President Donald Trump had to obtain congressional approval before intervening with further military action against Iran.
The war powers resolution is not binding on the president and would not require his signature. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed it “has real teeth” because “it is a statement of the Congress of the United States,” according to The Associated Press.
The measure will “protect American lives and values” by limiting Trump’s military actions, Pelosi said. “The administration must de-escalate and must prevent further violence.″
With only three Republicans voting in support, the House passed the measure, 224-194.
“Congress hereby directs the president to terminate the use of United States armed forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran or any part of its government or military,” the five-page resolution says. It also says unless Congress declares war on that country or enacts legislation authorizing use of force to prevent an attack on the U.S. and its forces the president cannot act.
Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, criticized the Democratic measure as little more than “a press release designed to attack President Trump.″
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called it a ”meaningless vote” on a measure that will never be sent to the president or “limit his constitutional authority to defend the American people.″
Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday that Soleimani “was traveling the region making plans to bring an attack against American personnel and American forces.” He said it was not possible to share full details of intelligence with lawmakers.
“When it comes to the intelligence we have to protect sources and methods, there’s only a certain amount we can share with every member of Congress,” Pence said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “But those of us who have seen all the evidence know that there was a compelling case of an imminent threat against American personnel.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Jan. 6, that he would object to a War Powers resolution aimed at limiting the president’s military actions in Iran.
“I will oppose any War Powers resolution pushed by @SpeakerPelosi so as to allow this president to have the latitude he needs as commander in chief,” Graham tweeted.
“The last thing America needs is 535 Commanders in Chief. Americans elected one: @realdonaldtrump,” he added.
President Trump on Wednesday morning delivered an address to the nation following the Iranian missile strike, in which he said Soleimani was the world’s top terrorist that the United States military eliminated to protect American lives.
“As the head of the Quds force, Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities. He trained terrorists armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims,” President Trump said.