Washington – Connecticut’s members of the U.S. House, all Democrats, were unanimous in their support for a resolution approved Thursday that aims to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war with Iran.

“Today’s vote on the War Powers Resolution is the first step that Congress has taken to reassert itself as the Constitution requires it to do,” said Rep. John Larson, D-1st District. “While President Trump does have limited authority to conduct military actions under the War Powers Act, he should have consulted Congress before authorizing the airstrike against Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani

“Hope that all House Republicans will vote against Crazy Nancy Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution,” Trump tweeted before the vote. But the Democratic-led U.S. House voted 224-194, largely along party lines,  to approve the resolution.

The resolution would mandate that Trump wind down military action against Iran within 30 days unless Congress votes to authorize it.

It says “Congress has not authorized the president to use military force against Iran.”

The administration says the president has the war-making powers under an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, that Congress approved in 2002 after the 9-11 attacks. It would prevent the president from waging war against Iraq unless Congress authorized or there were a danger of imminent attack.

Democrats were rankled by the White House’s failure to confer with Congress before the strike on Soleimani  and dissatisfied with the classified briefings by administration officials aimed at persuading lawmakers the Iranian official posed an “imminent threat.”

”What is concerning about this situation is not the death of someone who was obviously engaged in malign behavior across the region, but the cycle of escalation between the U.S. and Iran that risks sliding us into war without the president first consulting with the American people, or seeking lawful authorization from Congress…,” said Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District.

The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., a  freshman lawmaker and former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense.

Because Trump was certain to veto any legislation that would curtail his war-making powers, the Democrats resorted to a legislative vehicle known as a “concurrent resolution,” that does not require the signature of the chief executive.

But there was a debate Thursday about whether the resolution, if approved by the Senate, would have the force of law. The Supreme Court has ruled that to have legal effect, an act of Congress must be signed by the president. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., insisted on Thursday the resolution would be binding.

A separate, similar resolution sponsored by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., that would require the president’s signature is expected to come up for a vote in the Senate as soon as next week. Several Senate Republicans would have to join all Democrats for Kaine’s resolution to pass, then it would have to be approved by the House. But even if Kaine’s resolution gets through both chambers of Congress, Trump would probably veto it.

During the House debate on the resolution, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, observed  “our constituents held their breath on Tuesday” when Iran launched a dozen ballistic missles at U.S. and Iraqi-shared military bases in Iraq.

“Thankfully, no lives were lost in Iran’s retaliatory attacks,” she said. “But concern remains about the rationale and ramifications.

DeLauro said the resolution was necessary because Trump, before his killing of Soleimani, “failed to consult the Congress, failed to secure specific authorization and failed to cite with specificity the imminent threat in a classified briefing for members of Congress.”

“It’s unprecedented the level this administration is trying to obscure the facts from Congress and the American people,” DeLauro said.

In arguing against the resolution, Republicans said Democrats were trying to tie the hands of a president they disliked in a political gambit and were undercutting the Pentagon’s ability to keep Americans safe. “Instead of applauding the men and women of our military standing in harm’s way…my colleagues seek to undermine them,” said Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., accused Democrats of “making Iran stronger,” and of appeasing Tehran.

But not all Republicans opposed the resolution. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., was among the three GOP members who voted for it. Gaetz, one of Trump’s most vociferous supporters, said he  supported Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani, but also believed Congress has a say in “matters of war and peace.”

“If the members of our armed services have the courage to go and fight and die in these wars, as Congress, we ought to have the courage to vote for or against them,” Gaetz said.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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16 Comments

  1. The headline, and lede, are misleading at best. The House voted to do nothing beyond something that makes them feel good and campaign on ‘doing something.’

    The Resolution does nothing to reign in any Presidential efforts. It’s as non-binding as the Iran-controlled Iraqi members’ vote to force foreign forces out of Iraq, which can’t even be signed by the already-resigned PM. It’s also as toothless as the House-passed Articles of Impeachment, which I guess the Speaker will eventually send to the Senate.

    One very curious side note to this Resolution is the sponsor, Rep. Slotkin, still refuses to discuss her role in Obama’s multi-billion dollar ‘payoffs’ to the Iranian mullahs.

  2. Unfortunately, the current State of Connecticut Represntatives and Senators do not, and have not represented my positions on government. We may agree on 1 out of 10 issues. I am never in alignment with Sen Blumenthal or Sen Murphy. Align with Rep Larson and Rep Coutney 15% of the time, and Rosa DeLauro 5% of the time. As it relates to the newly elected Rep Hayes. I had high hopes, but unfortunately she has ignored all she has seen and become a member of the Democrat Herd.

  3. Trump promised to get us out of 2 wars and we are now in 3. Said it was going to be “so easy” to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Criticized Obama, surprise surprise. Everything was going to be “so easy”. “Only I can fix this”.’ Just like he was going to eliminate our national deficit in 8 years. Well, he has ballooned it astronomically. Just like healthcare , he was going to have “beautiful new health insurance with a lot more coverage for a lot less money”.

  4. Did you see/read Trump’s rally last night?
    He is mocking yet again any form of oversight or accountability to anyone or anything. And his followers cheer him like crazy. What followers. They would follow him over a cliff to their death. Sad. And perplexing. It is a cult. How does he have such a hold on them no matter what he does or how he acts. The Constitution granted the President the commander in chief while vesting the power to declare war with Congress. This was done so we wouldn’t have a King (Like England).Forget for a moment this killing of Iran General(even though Trumps rationale for doing both changes & collapses by the day& we will find out truth eventually which I firmly believe Trump is yet again lying), Trump is openly mocking accountability to anyone. 11 million more people voted against him in last election (3 Clinton, 8 for Others). His Groupies at his rallies, do they know this?His Groupies in Congress?

    1. So the terrorist general should still be alive? This cult member thinks not. Better to eliminate a person acting like Hitler.

      1. Never said that Jim. Talking about accountability and truth. Trump lying yet again. No imminent threat. Did you see today’s news? No embassies threatened. Pompeii said “we don’t know where and we don’t know when, but”. Then how do you know it’s imminent?? Lies, lies, lies? How do you feel about that Jim? Everyday you are told lies to by the guy you love? Do you believe him? Can I randomly list 10 lies he has said just in the last 2 weeks alone and you can list 10 simple yes-I believe vs. No-One don’t believe???

      2. How about today Jim. You okay with Trump tweeting out photoshopped doctored photos of Pelosi in a hijab in front of Iranian flag? And Schumer wearing a turban? Or the one showing a horrific photo of a bloodied corpse on a metal fence saying Pelosi supports this? All the nonstop lies, all the nonstop cruel insults hurled at everyone, all the daily chaos and hate from this despicable human being.all the allies he has pissed off. All the buddy buddy with Putin. All the obstruction in the Ukraine and the Muellar investigations. I can go on and on. Do you think this is going to stop? Of course it’s not. He is very sick. When are his supporters,both politician and voter, going to say enough is enough?

    2. Dear Mr Norris,

      If anything qualifies as a cult. It is the blind followers of the elitist, pay-for-access Hillary Regime. Or even worse the fixed DNC Organization that deep-sixed Sen Bernie Sanders. “Peopl who live in glass houses, should not cast stones.”

      1. John,
        I am an Independent voter who actually thinks for myself. And it is folks like me and not the “blind followers” who are this country’s saving grace.

  5. Unfortunately, the current State of Connecticut Represntatives and Senators do not, and have not represented my positions on government. We may agree on 1 out of 10 issues. I am never in alignment with Sen Blumenthal or Sen Murphy. Align with Rep Larson and Rep Coutney 15% of the time, and Rosa DeLauro 5% of the time. As it relates to the newly elected Rep Hayes. I had high hopes, but unfortunately she has ignored all she has seen and become a member of the Democrat Herd.

  6. Trump famously said in a Minnesota rally in October that “Biden ‘understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass”.
    My God, talking about kissing a**! I wonder how it feels to everyday, no matter how Trump acts and speaks, Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Lindsey Graham etc etc Republicans pucker up and cater to Trump. How humiliating it must feel! They hate him surely, but do that. Talk about checking your integrity at the door. Talk about losing totally your self respect. And his supporters (citizens) too. Must be awful.

  7. These Legislators and their self righteous supporters are so obsessed with Trump that they fail to see that their rabid Trump hating derangement is seen as disgusting, childish and obstructive to Independent voters. The Dems are driving Independents to Vote for Trump. Not because Independents like Trump but rather that they find the Left’s actions abhorrent. The Anti-Trumpers may just find themselves calling for Impeachment for FIVE more years.

  8. Well we know that the democrats that supposedly represent us in the US House and Senate, are anti-Trump people from before he was elected. It comes as no surprise that our “representatives” hate anything that will make them look bad based on their own words. To all of these representatives, please make up your mind. You criticized him when he pulled troops from Afghanistan and Iraq down to a training regiment. You criticized when he wanted to pull troops out of Syria. You criticized when he wanted NATO to play a larger role in the middle east. But now that he has killed a know terrorist, he is looking for war with Iran. Is the same president that was a Russian operative and wanted to go to war with Russia? Is this the same president, that met with North Korea leader and was said to be forcing us into war with North Korea? Is this the same president that has almost got us into a war with Turkey? I seem to remember the representatives, that cried wolf once to often to be taken seriously.

    1. Anti Trump folks from before the election could have been won over to supporting him. Except, no one, absolutely no one could have possibly imagined he would be THIS bad. History will show this as an awful time in U.S. history.

  9. Congress has proven itself a joke and the damage it has done to our nation, and it’s security is criminal. Our enemies are within and those enemies outside our country cannot imagine their good fortune to have such assistance from within our country.

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