Maybe they don’t like it when America stands up to its enemies. Whatever the reason, the House of Representatives is expected to pass a measure that limits President Trump’s ability to use military force against Iran. The lawmakers say they’re worried that the killing of Iran’s top commander could lead to war, although it seems odd because that top commander fomented war everywhere he went.
The vote in the Democratic-controlled House was due Thursday afternoon. If it survives the House as expected, it would move to the Senate where it will likely die. Two out of the 53 Republican Senators, Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have expressed support for it after what they saw as a useless intelligence briefing on the assassination.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said killing Qassem Soleimani ldid not make Americans safer. She faulted the White House for failing to consult with Congress before the strike. Presidents typically inform congressional leaders before military action, to present a united national security front, but such notification is not required by law and is not necessary for an practical reason.
On the notion of asking for Congressional approval for a military strike, Trump said:
“I don’t have to and you shouldn’t have to, because you have to be able to make split-second decisions sometimes. Sometimes you have to move very, very quickly. In certain cases I wouldn’t even mind doing it.”
The War Powers Act was passed in 1973, as lawmakers reacted to secret bombings during the bitterly divisive Vietnam War. The law says the House and Senate can pass a resolution to force the withdrawal of troops engaged in a foreign conflict without Congress’ consent.
Some Republicans, including House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, insisted the resolution would have no power over Trump. He called it a “meaningless vote” at his weekly news conference.
Democrats dismissed McCarthy’s contention as false, noting that the U.S. Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to declare war.