The US House of Representatives will vote this week on a War Powers Resolution to limit President Donald Trump’s military activity targeting Iran, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a message published on her website on Sunday.
She added that the resolution “reasserts Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the [Trump] Administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days”.
Referring to “a provocative and disproportionate military airstrike” which killed prominent Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps General Qasem Soleimani, Pelosi pointed out that “this action endangered our servicemembers, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran”.
She also expressed concern over the fact that the US conducted the strike “without the consultation of Congress and without respect for Congress’s war powers granted to it by the Constitution”.
The remarks come after Democratic members of the House Ilhan Omar and Barbara Lee said in press release that they had introduced the War Powers Resolution in order to withdraw US troops from possible hostilities with Iran.
“We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty—and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war. Following the assassination [of Soleimani], thousands of additional troops were sent to the Middle East in one of the largest rapid deployments seen in decades. This follows years of sabre-rattling and threats of war against Iran by President Trump and his accomplices,” Omar said in a statement on Sunday.
She was echoed by Lee, who said that “it’s past time for Congress to reassert our Constitutional authority and return to diplomacy with Iran and our allies.”
Democrats, Trump at Odds Over POTUS War Powers
The developments come as Democrats berated Trump for appearing to declare that his tweets would serve as relevant notification for Congress that “should Iran strike any US person or target, the United States will quickly and fully strike back”.
These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 20
This was followed by the Democratic-led House Foreign Affairs Committee tweeting “this Media Post will serve as a reminder that war powers reside in the Congress under the United States Constitution […] and that you’re not a dictator”.
This Media Post will serve as a reminder that war powers reside in the Congress under the United States Constitution. And that you should read the War Powers Act. And that you’re not a dictator. https://t.co/VTroMegWv0— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) January 5, 2020
Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of an Iraqi Shia militia group, were killed by a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport last Friday.
The attack was authorised by POTUS who described it as a preemptive and defensive strike, while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed that Tehran will take revenge for what it views as a terrorist action. US Democratic lawmakers, for their part, questioned Trump’s authority to order the strike without congressional approval.