House Passes Measure That Would Limit Trump's War Powers



Update: The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday afternoon to approve a resolution that would limit President Donald Trump's ability to use military action against Iran without congressional approval. The vote passed 224-194 with representatives on both sides of the aisle crossing party lines.

Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Francis Rooney of Florida joined most Democrats to approve the measure, while Democratic Reps. Max Rose of New York, Ben McAdams of Utah, Anthony Brindisi of New York, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Kendra Horn of Oklahoma and Stephanie Murphy of Florida voted against the measure.

The resolution now heads to the Senate.

The bill calls for Trump to stop using U.S. Armed Forces to "engage in hostilities in or against Iran" unless Congress declares war or approves "specific statutory authorization." An exception for an "imminent armed attack upon the United States" is also contained in the bill.

The previous story follows below:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Wednesday that the House will take up a measure that would limit President Donald Trump's ability to wage war with Iran.

In a statement, Pelosi said the drone strike that killed top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani authorized by the president was a "provocative and disproportionate" act that was done without consulting Congress.

“Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward," Pelosi said. "Our concerns were not addressed by the President’s insufficient War Powers Act notification and by the Administration’s briefing today."

Congress was briefed about the strike on Wednesday in a classified session with White House administration officials, including Defense Secretary Mike Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Joint Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and CIA Director Gina Haspel. However, the 75-minute briefing left many lawmakers stunned and angry at the lack of details about thes strike, with one GOP senator, calling it "insulting and demeaning."

"I find this insulting and demeaning to the office that each of the 100 senators in this building happens to hold. I find it insulting and demeaning to the Constitution of the United States," Lee told reporters after the briefing.  

Pelosi said the House would move forward with a War Powers Resolution that would limit the president's military actions regarding Iran. The resolution authored by Rep. Elissa Slotkin, was submitted to the Rules committee Wednesday evening and is scheduled to be brought to the floor later on Thursday for debate.

However, even if the House were to pass the bill, it would face a tough time in the GOP-controlled Senate. Trump could also veto the measure, as he has before when Congress attempted to end America's military role in Yemen. A companion bill authored by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), is making its way through the Senate.

Pelosi says the decision to move forward came after Iran retaliated for the drone strike that killed Soleimani by launching ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq where U.S. and coalition forces are stationed.

“The Administration must work with the Congress to advance an immediate, effective de-escalatory strategy that prevents further violence. America and the world cannot afford war," Pelosi wrote.

Photo: Getty Images