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US House votes to curb Trump war power on Iran

US House votes to curb Trump war power on Iran
Washington, Jan 10 (IANS):
Washington, Jan 10 (IANS) | Publish Date: 1/10/2020 11:05:30 AM IST

The US House of Representatives has approved a largely symbolic resolution seeking to restrict President Donald Trump’s power to take military actions against Iran without congressional approval.

The Democrat-controlled House voted 224 to 194 to pass the resolution on Thursday, roughly along the party line. The resolution directs the President to terminate the use of US military to engage in hostilities in or against Iran, unless he gets authorization from Congress or the use of force was necessary.

The vote came days after the January 3 drone attack ordered by Trump killed Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, which has raised fears of an uncontrolled conflict between Washington and Tehran.

Following the vote, Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin, the lead sponsor of the resolution, said that it was “intended to make clear that, if the President wants to take us to war, he must get authorization from Congress”.

Slotkin, who previously worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defence, noted that the behaviour of Soleimani did not mean that the Trump administration “can disregard the Constitution by engaging in a wider war, without consulting first with Congress”.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump called on all Republican Congressmen to vote against the resolution.

“Hope that all House Republicans will vote against Crazy Nancy Pelosi’s war powers resolution,” Trump tweeted, calling the vote “presidential harassment”.

Most Republicans argued in the floor that the resolution was a show vote intended to undermine Trump.

The vote came one day after Democratic lawmakers, joined by several Republicans, voiced frustrations about the lack of information at a closed-door briefing on Iran from the administration officials. 

“I find this (the briefing) insulting and demeaning, not personally, but to the office that each of the 100 senators in this building happens to hold,” Republican Senator Mike Lee said after the briefing.

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