US Congress votes to limit Trump’s war powers against Iran

The resolution now goes to President Donald Trump, who has threatened to veto the measure.

by William Roberts

The United States House of Representatives approved on Wednesday a War Powers Resolution aimed at limiting President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran.

The passage of the resolution was yet another rebuke of the president over his decision to order the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January amid escalating tensions with Tehran.

The Senate voted 55 to 45 – with eight Republicans joining Democrats on February 13 – to approve the resolution. The House action sends the measure to Trump, who has threatened to veto it. A two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate would be needed to override a veto.

The measure requires that Trump get congressional approval before engaging in further military action against Iran.

“Congress should vote on articles of war before any further hostilities with Iran,” Democratic Representative James McGovern said in House floor debate.

Trump ordered the attack that killed Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, at the airport in Baghdad on January 3. Conflict with Iran swiftly escalated into a standoff that many members of the US Congress feared would lead to outright war.

Iran responded to Soleimani’s killing with attacks on two Iraqi bases housing US troops. More than 100 US troops were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries.

“The Constitution gives Congress the authority and responsibility to declare war,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat.

Under the War Powers Act of 1973, the resolution directs the removal of US forces from hostilities against Iran that have not been authorised by Congress.

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