But the votes might be largely symbolic. The Republican-led Senate isn’t expected to take up the measures, and the White House has signaled that President Trump would veto them.
The House has approved a bill to block funding for military action against Iran.
In a largely party-line vote of 228-175, the House on Thursday passed the No War Against Iran Act offered by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).
“The reality is that Congress needs to exercise the power of the purse,” Khanna told reporters ahead of the vote. “We need to make it very clear that Congress is not going to authorize a dime for an offensive war in Iran.”
The vote on the measure sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) came shortly after the House approved a bill from Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) that would block funding for military action against Iran.
„One important thing to highlight: The Trump administration was briefing the Republican conference today, and several people told me that the administration made it clear that if Senator Sanders’s and my amendment passed, then it would have prevented the Suleimani strike. Well, Senator Sanders’s and my amendment had passed two months ago and was part of the national defense authorization, until it was stripped. And the lesson is that we should have fought harder to make sure it wasn’t stripped. It would have literally prevented this entire crisis.“
The legislation introduced by Rep. Lee, H.R. 2456, would sunset the 2002 authorization for the use of military force in Iraq, originally intended to enable operations against the regime of Saddam Hussein. Seventeen years after his removal from power, this AUMF has continued to be used by administrations to justify the use of American military force in Iraq. Rep. Khanna’s bill, H.R. 5543, prohibits the use of Federal funds for military action in or against Iran unless Congress specifically authorizes it or declares war or such actions are undertaken consistent with the War Powers Resolution of 1973.
The first measure from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) would repeal the 2002 authorization of military force for the Iraq War that has been used as justification for military action against Iran. The other, authored by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), would prohibit the use of federal funds for military action in or against Iran unless authorized by Congress.
Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) joins Hallie Jackson to discuss an upcoming war powers resolution in the House to prevent President Trump from escalating the conflict with Iran. Khanna describes any further action by the President that is not sanctioned by Congress as a „potentially impeachable offense.“
“Today, we are seeing a dangerous escalation that brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East. A war with Iran could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars and lead to even more deaths, more conflict, more displacement in that already highly volatile region of the world.
“War must be the last recourse in our international relations. That is why our Founding Fathers gave the responsibility over war to Congress. Congressional inaction in the face of the threat of a catastrophic and unconstitutional Middle East conflict is not acceptable.
“After authorizing a disastrous, $738 billion military budget that placed no restrictions on this president from starting an unauthorized war with Iran, Congress now has an opportunity to change course. Our legislation blocks Pentagon funding for any unilateral actions this president takes to wage war against Iran without Congressional authorization.“
“The United States has been in a state of continuous, global, open-ended military conflict since 2001. Over 2.5 million troops have fought in this ‘Forever War’ in over a dozen countries – including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Niger, Somalia, and Thailand,” the pledge reads.
It continues: “I pledge to the people of the United States of America, and to our military community in particular, that I will (1) fight to reclaim Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight of U.S. foreign policy and independently debate whether to authorize each new use of military force, and (2) act to bring the Forever War to a responsible and expedient conclusion.”
The lobbying campaign is possibly the first of its kind since January 2007 — when new Democratic majorities in the House and Senate were sworn in.
Khanna and Ocasio-Cortez say they’ll vote against the rules package containing paygo on Thursday. A total of 18 Democrats would need to vote against the package for it to be defeated. A defeat would be an embarrassment for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to be elected House speaker on the same day.
Progressives who support programs like „Medicare-for-all“ and other policies likely to increase government expenditures worry that the rule would create a self-imposed obstacle with limited political upside — and come across as a sign that Democrats are committed to the austerity economics championed, at least rhetorically, by conservative groups.