[War Powers Resolution\Iran]
House Speaker Pelosi: “This week, the House will introduce and vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran…It reasserts Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days.”
Sunday, Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Barbara Lee announced a War Powers Resolution in the United States House of Representatives to direct the removal of the United States Armed Forces from hostilities against Iran that have not been authorized by Congress.
The move comes from the fallout of Friday’s assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, on orders from the Trump White House.
The House resolution is a companion to a War Powers Resolution authored by Sen. Tim Kaine in the Senate.
“Let’s not mince words: the assassination of Qasem Soleimani was an act of war undertaken without Congressional authorization, in violation of the Constitution of the United States of America. Following the assassination, thousands of additional troops were sent to the Middle East in one of the largest rapid deployments seen in decades. This follows years of saber-rattling and threats of war against Iran by President Trump and his accomplices. We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty—and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war, ” Rep. Omar said.
“For far too long, Congress has been missing in action on matters of war and peace,” said Rep. Lee. “Make no mistake: the assassination of Qasem Soleimani places us on the brink of war with Iran. Trump’s reckless military actions, without Congressional approval or authorization, have caused this crisis. We have been down this dangerous path before in Iraq, and we cannot afford another ill-advised, destructive, and costly war in the Middle East. It’s past time for Congress to reassert our Constitutional authority and return to diplomacy with Iran and our allies.”
The resolution underscores that Congress has the sole power to declare war, as laid out in the Constitution. The resolution requires that any hostilities with Iran must be explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or specific authorization for use of military force, but does not prevent the United States from defending itself from imminent attack. The resolution will force a public debate and vote in Congress as intended by the framers of the Constitution to determine whether United States forces should be engaged in these hostilities.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement to Democratic members of Congress.
“Dear Democratic Colleague,
“Last week, the Trump Administration conducted a provocative and disproportionate military airstrike targeting high-level Iranian military officials. This action endangered our service members, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran.
“As Members of Congress, our first responsibility is to keep the American people safe. For this reason, we are concerned that the Administration took this action without the consultation of Congress and without respect for Congress’s war powers granted to it by the Constitution.
“This week, the House will introduce and vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran. This resolution is similar to the resolution introduced by Senator Tim Kaine in the Senate. It reasserts Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days.
“The House Resolution will be led by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin. Congresswoman Slotkin is a former CIA and Department of Defense analyst specializing in Shia militias. She served multiple tours in the region under both Democratic and Republican Administrations. I greatly appreciate the solemnity with which all of our Members are working to honor our responsibility to protect American lives and values.
“Thank you for your patriotic leadership during this difficult time.”
In a letter to President Donald Trump, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called for the Trump administration to immediately declassify the White House notification to Congress of the initiation of hostilities against Iran, pursuant to the War Powers Act of 1973.
In the letter to President Trump, the senators said it is critical for the Trump administration to share additional information in a timely manner with the American people about the U.S. military operation targeting Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani. Senators Schumer and Menendez also criticized the administration’s decision to classify the entire War Powers Act notification, saying there was no legitimate justification for such extensive classification.