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House Passes War Powers Amendment Regarding Iran

July 13, 2019 (EIRNS)—The House of Representatives yesterday added, by a vote of 251 to 170, an amendment to the FY2020 defense authorization bill prohibiting a U.S. attack on Iran unless Congress has passed a declaration of war or other authorizing legislation. The underlying bill passed by a vote of 220 to 197. The House and Senate now face the task of reconciling two very different, and partisan, bills.

The Iran war powers amendment was co-sponsored by California Democrat Ro Khanna and Florida Republican Matt Gaetz. Gaetz challenged his war hawk party colleagues forcefully: “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 in their case against Iran, let them bring their authorization to use military force against Iran to this very floor.” Other Republicans opposed the amendment, on the argument that Congress shouldn’t hamstring the President with such restrictions.

Khanna touted the measure as sending a strong signal to Trump.

“It reminds the President that the American people, both Democrats and Republicans, don’t want another war in the Middle East,” Khanna told reporters. “The President was fully aware of this. This is what he said when he campaigned, and he’s probably going to want to say it again when he campaigns again. So I think it’s a reminder to him of where public sentiment is and that he shouldn’t get too influenced by the Washington establishment.”

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