House approves resolution to restrain Trump on Iran

House of Representatives approves resolution asserting that Trump must seek approval from Congress before taking action against Iran.

Ben Ariel ,

US Capitol
US Capitol

The US House of Representatives on Thursday approved a resolution asserting that President Donald Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.

The House approved the measure by a majority of 224 to 194, with almost no Republican support, reported The Associated Press.

The war powers resolution is not binding on the president and would not require his signature. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nonetheless insisted it “has real teeth” because “it is a statement of the Congress of the United States.”

The measure will “protect American lives and values” by limiting Trump’s military actions, Pelosi said. “The administration must de-escalate and must prevent further violence.”

The resolution, which Pelosi first announced on Wednesday, directs the President to end the use of US armed forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran unless Congress has formally authorized it or if there is an "imminent armed attack upon the United States."

It was introduced by freshman Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), a former CIA analyst who served three tours in Iraq and represents a competitive district.

Democrats have been critical of Trump’s order to eliminate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq last week, claiming he should have consulted with Congress beforehand.

After the White House sent to Congress formal notification of the US drone strike that killed Soleimani, Pelosi said the notification “raises more questions than it answers. This document prompts serious and urgent questions about the timing, manner and justification of the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran.”

Earlier this week, Trump suggested that his tweets served as sufficient notification to Congress in the event of a potential military strike against Iran.

In response, the Democratic-led House Foreign Affairs Committee in a tweet mirroring the language Trump himself used in his message, informed the President that he was not a "dictator" and that Congress has the power to authorize acts of war.