House approves War Powers Resolution limiting Trump’s military actions in the Middle East

On Thursday the House of Representatives passed the resolution that can restrict President Trump’s authority to take military action in the wake of the recent escalation with Iran. This resolution is designed to compel the President to seek congressional approval before striking Iran. The bill doesn’t require the President’s signature once passed by both chambers of Congress. “We deserve the respect from the administration and that Congress deserves under the Constitution. The Constitution of the United States calls that there be cooperation when initiating hostilities,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) addressing the vote.

The resolution was passed largely along party lines, 224-194, with some defections on both sides. Eight Democrats opposed the bill and only three Republicans voted in favor. “I refuse to play politics with questions of war and peace and therefore will not support this resolution,” said Max Rose (D-NY) in a statement explaining his opposition to the resolution. He pointed out that Trump’s move to kill Qassem Soleimani was justified. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) broke with the party in a surprising move. He cited principles despite supporting Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear deal. “The thing is, I think a few of the advisers of the president are trying to slow-walk the administration into war. When the president relies on his instincts and we have the Trump doctrine, we kill the terrorist and we come home,” he said.

The concurrent resolution is similar to that of 1973 that meant to reassert Congressional authority over initiation or escalation of military actions abroad. It “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 measure will limit Trump’s ability to strike Iran without congressional approval should it pass in the Republican-controlled Senate.