The US House of Representatives voted Friday to restrict President Donald Trump’s ability to attack Iran, voicing fear that his hawkish policies are pushing toward a needless war.
The Democratic-led House approved an amendment on a broad defense bill that would prohibit funding for military operations against Iran unless they are in self-defense or explicitly approved by Congress.
But a similar measure failed in the Senate, where Trump’s Republican Party holds the majority. The two chambers will have to negotiate over the language as they finalize the defense bill.
Representative Ro Khanna, the Democrat who led the amendment, said the measure showed that the United States was fed up with war.
“Frankly, what it will prevent is what this president promised to the American people not to do — to get into another endless, costly war in the Middle East,” he said on the House floor.
Trump, who walked out of a nuclear accord with Iran and instead slapped sweeping sanctions, last month authorized a strike on the Islamic republic after it shot down a US spy drone — but called it off at the last minute.
Trump has said he believes he has the legal right to attack Iran. US administrations have used an authorization of force passed by Congress after the September 11, 2001 attacks to justify a slew of operations around the world.
Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the amendment “reckless,” saying that the military should not be held up by a potentially lengthy legislative process.
“This will tie our military’s hands at a perilous time. We need Iran and its terrorist proxies to think twice before they attack Americans, our friends or our interests,” he said.
But 27 Republicans plus Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash joined the overwhelming majority of Democrats in backing the amendment.
Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican who co-sponsored the amendment with Khanna, accused his colleagues of not leveling with US troops on why they could be sent to die.
“My war-hungry colleagues — some of whom have already suggested that we invade Venezuela, North Korea and probably a few other countries before lunchtime tomorrow — if they’re so certain of their case against Iran, let them bring their authorization to use military force against Iran to this very floor,” he said.
Republicans want Americans to believe Trump cared deeply — about something he never mentioned
One of the main points made by Republicans during the House hearings on the impeachment claimed that President Donald Trump cared so deeply about corruption in Ukraine that he was holding back the funding. It wasn't bribery because it was all about legitimate foreign policy, according to Trump and the Republicans in Congress.
Their greatest problem is that Trump has never held back speaking out about something he cared for. As the Washington Post noted, the argument doesn't stand up.
‘He can’t understand why what he did is wrong’: George Conway says Trump is incapable of being president
Prominent Republican attorney George Conway ripped President Donald Trump on MSNBC on Wednesday.
Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, spent his day with MSNBC to provide live analysis on the first day of televised impeachment hearings.
"It’s also striking, George, that every defense falls apart almost before the end of a single news cycle," anchor Nicolle Wallace reported. "Everything that people have said in an effort to defend him has collapsed under the weight of the president’s conduct."
"What we just heard the president say is delusional," Conway replied. "And it’s debilitating."
Billionaire spews expletive-laden attack on Elizabeth Warren for criticizing him in a political ad
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is continuing her feud against the wealthy and powerful with a new political ad hitting several billionaires who have criticized her.
The ad, which will run on CNBC on Thursday, targets hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman, who she notes was charged with insider trading, former TD Ameritrade CEO Joe Rickets, who she notes is a donor to GOP super PACs, former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who she notes earned $70 million during the financial crisis, and tech investor Peter Thiel, who she notes is a key benefactor of President Donald Trump.