- US House of Representatives has passed a measure to limit Trump's military actions against Iran
- The American government had killed an Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in an airstrike in Baghdad
- The House on Thursday, January 9, voted against Trump's further attacks on Iran
Following the military actions against Iran by the American government, the US House of Representatives has voted to prevent President Donald Trump from carrying out further attacks on Iran.
Washington Post reports that the House voted Thursday, January 9, in a Democratic-led campaign to reassert congressional authority over the use of force abroad.
The newspaper reported that the 224-to-194 vote, which came a day after the administration’s senior national security officials briefed lawmakers about the strike that killed a top Iranian commander, fell largely along party lines, with three Republicans and a Republican-turned-independent endorsing the resolution.
According to the report, eight Democrats opposed the measure, which instructs Trump “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” unless congress declares war or there is “an imminent armed attack upon the United States.”
The administration, with the help of most Republicans, has argued forcefully against the effort, asserting that Trump, as commander in chief, had undisputed legal justification to kill Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad without Congress’s prior approval.
But Democrats and a handful of Republicans were so frustrated by the administration’s resistance to fully involving Congress that the belated effort to engage Capitol Hill largely backfired — fueling momentum for Thursday’s vote.
Washington Post also noted that in the House, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a close Trump ally who has publicly defended last week’s strike on Soleimani, worked with Democrats after Wednesday’s briefings to fine-tune the resolution, ultimately crossing the aisle on Thursday, January 9, to support it.
“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,” Gaetz said, announcing his yes vote.
But the critical forum is the Senate, where Democrats are in the minority and would need the help of at least four Republicans to pass a similar vote to empower the resolution.
Republican senators, Mike Lee (Utah) and Rand Paul (Ky.) have committed to supporting Kaine’s resolution, fuming to reporters Wednesday, January 8, that administration officials had failed to specify when, if ever, they might seek Congress’ approval for military strikes.
Lee complained that officials had instead communicated that lawmakers “need to be good little boys and girls and run along and not debate this in public.”
Kaine said that he is discussing his resolution with senators. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Todd C. Young (R-Ind.), in addition to Lee and Paul, and selectively changing the text — such as removing language that specifically addresses Trump by name — in hopes that doing so will build enough support to secure Senate approval.
But Kaine sounded undeterred on Thursday, January 9, arguing that Congress could still influence Trump’s thinking even if supporters cannot override his veto. As evidence, he pointed to when Congress threatened to invoke its war powers to curtail U.S. support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
“He stopped doing what we were complaining about. It had an impact,” Kaine said, noting that the administration stopped refuelling Saudi jets. “President Trump may not care about Congress, but he does care about the American public . . . and if he sees a strong vote on this, and it goes to him, it’s an expression not just of what we think but of what our constituents think,” he said.
Republicans and Democrats, however, remain bitterly divided over whether Trump’s strike was prudent and justified, or illegal and reckless, with the dispute coming down to whether Soleimani posed such an imminent threat to warrant going after him without the consent of Congress.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Trump backed down from more military conflict with Iran, called for renewed diplomacy and an end to hostilities with the Middle East country.
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