- Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
- The House on Friday passed an amendment that would bar President Donald Trump from taking military action against Iran.
- The measure, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California and Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, passed with the support of 27 Republicans.
- It was included in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which the House passed on Friday afternoon.
- The amendment will likely be excluded from the final version of the defense bill, given a similar measure failed in the Senate last month.
- This came amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran, which have sparked fears of a new conflict in the Middle East over the past several weeks.
Over two dozen House Republicans joined Democrats to vote for a measure blocking President Donald Trump from taking military action against Iran without congressional approval.
The measure, introduced by Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna and Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, would prohibit federal funds from being used for a military action against Iran without the blessing of Congress.
Celebrating the Iran amendment’s success in tweets on Friday, Khanna said, “This is the only way to stop Trump from starting another costly war. Constitutional rights aren’t optional and endless war isn’t inevitable… This is how we democratize our foreign policy and put an end to unconstitutional war.”
Similarly, Gaetz, who’s a top Trump ally, tweeted, “The time has come for Congress to once again reassert its constitutional authority and speak decisively on matters of war and peace, and I applaud the House today for passing our amendment that ensures any military action in Iran is carried out constitutionally.”
The time has come for Congress to once again reassert its constitutional authority and speak decisively on matters of war and peace, and I applaud the House today for passing our amendment that ensures any military action in Iran is carried out constitutionally. @RepRoKhanna pic.twitter.com/wTWNMyQw1H
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) July 12, 2019
The measure was included with the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which the House passed on Friday afternoon and will have to be reconciled with the Senate version.
A similar measure failed to pass in the GOP-controlled Senate last month, and there appears to be a strong chance that it will be excluded from the final version of the $733 billion defense bill.
But its passage on Friday marks yet another bipartisan effort among lawmakers in Congress to reassert their constitutionally-mandated war powers.
The Iran measure on Friday passed in concert with an amendment repealing the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which provided the legal framework for the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
BREAKING: The House just passed my amendment to repeal the outdated 2002 AUMF & restore Congressional authority in matters of war and peace. This AUMF has been on the books for 17 years, long after the end of the Iraq war. It's past time for it to go! #StopEndlessWars pic.twitter.com/JamaAKaf86
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) July 12, 2019
Meanwhile, the House also endorsed an amendment declaring that the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed just days after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, “has been utilized well beyond the scope that Congress intended, that it has served a blank check for any President to wage war at any time and any place.”
The measure said that a new AUMF would need to include a time-limit and clear “objectives, targets, and geographic scope, and reporting requirements.” This came after the House voted to repeal the 2001 AUMF last month.
Congress has increasingly been pushing against Trump’s foreign policy in recent months, particularly regarding US support for Saudi Arabia in the Yemen conflict. As tensions have risen between Iran and the US in recent months, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have begun to raise alarms about a potential conflict.
After Iran shot down a US Navy drone last month, Trump nearly responded with a military strike but pulled back at the last minute. The president said the strike would’ve been disproportionate to the downing of a drone, or an unmanned aerial vehicle.