The US House of Representatives has voted in favor of a bill that restricts President Donald Trump's ability to make war on Iran. The vote comes a day after staggering strikes nearly brought the US and Iran to the brink of war.
Despite approval, the bill lacks teeth to contain Trump's powers of war if he decides to take military action against Iran. As a 'Concurrent Resolution', it doesn't need Trump's signature, it won't pass to the Republican-controlled Senate for approval and will not become law. Instead, it simply expresses the position of the house.
The bill was sponsored by former CIA analyst and Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin (Michigan) and urges Trump to "end the use of the United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran" unless Congress formally declare war on the Islamic Republic. The bill was written after the American assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, killed at Baghdad airport on Friday in a drone attack.
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Iran responded by launching a volley of ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq used by US troops. The attacks did not kill anyone, with Baghdad reportedly warned, and Trump declined to respond forcefully, opting to impose more economic sanctions on Iran. Despite the apparent waiting time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for a vote by project independently, stating on Wednesday that "America and the world cannot afford war."
The power to declare war is held exclusively by Congress pursuant to the 1973 War Powers Resolution. Without Congressional authorization, the President may not commit troops to any foreign conflict for more than 60 days. However, the resolution was allegedly violated by Bill Clinton when he ordered the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.
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Since 2001, the Military Force Use Authorization (AUMF) has allowed successive administrations to wage war against anyone they deem "planned, authorized, compromised or assisted" in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Since his death, the act has been invoked 41 times allow US military action in 19 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen.
However, AUMF may also be dropped soon. Pelosi announced on Wednesday that the House could soon consider legislation repeal and replace the act.
In the hours leading up to Thursday's vote, Trump urged House Republicans to "vote against Crazy Nancy Pelosi's Powers of War Resolution," calling the resolution "Just Another Democratic Fraud" and "Presidential Harassment."
I hope all House Republicans vote against the resolution of Nancy Nancy Pelosi's war powers. Also, keep in mind your “speed and haste” in getting and getting impeachment fraud to be voted on and completed. Well, she never sent the articles to the Senate. Just another Democratic fraud. Presidential harassment!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2020
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