The House of Representatives on Thursday approved the Iran War Powers resolution – an effort to restrain President Donald Trump’s ability to use military action against Iran without congressional approval.
The resolution passed by a vote of 224 to 194 with the support of three Republicans. Reps. Matt Gaetz and Francis Rooney of Florida as well as Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky all crossed party lines to vote in favor of the resolution.
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According to CBS News, the bill is what’s known as a “concurrent resolution” – meaning it requires only the approval of both chambers of Congress and does not go to the president for his signature. The measure, which passed by a nearly party line vote Thursday evening, will next go to the Senate.
The structure of the House resolution is unique, however, calling into question whether it is actually legally binding.
“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 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
While it is non-binding, the resolution is meant to reassert congressional authority and “rebuke Trump’s decision to take out Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike last Friday.”
Since Trump did not consult with congressional leaders before the attack that killed the Iranian military leader, the resolution “requires the president to consult with Congress ‘in every possible instance’ before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities.”
The resolution says that “Congress has not authorized the president to use military force against Iran.” It also 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.
Unless, of course, there is a specific blessing by Congress.
According to Fox News, the resolution was “widely panned by Republican lawmakers in the House.” These lawmakers called the measure a political move against the president and accused Democrats of empowering Iran by condemning the White House’s airstrike.