The House Friday voted to block President Donald Trump from waging war against Iran without congressional authorization.
Lawmakers approved 251 to 170 an amendment to the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) that would bar funding to use military force against Iran unless Congress authorizes it.
It also would clarify that the broadly worded 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which underpins numerous U.S. military operations, doesn’t apply to Iran. And it would preserve the president’s authority to use military force under the War Powers Resolution.
Khanna called the legislation “the most important foreign policy vote in the United States Congress.”
“If 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,” said Gaetz, a Trump ally.
Most Republicans, however, opposed the measure, arguing it would handcuff the president in dealing with Iran’s destabilizing actions in the Middle East.
“It takes legitimate options off the table, shows America divided in the face of mounting Iranian threats and makes our nation less safe,” said Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.