House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House will vote on a resolution Thursday that will limit President Trump’s power to go to war with Iran.
‘Today, to honor our duty to keep the American people safe, the House will move forward with a War Powers Resolution to limit the president’s military actions regarding Iran,’ Pelosi said in a statement. ‘This resolution, which will be led by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, will go to the Rules Committee this evening and will be brought to the floor tomorrow,’ she announced.
Pelosi also left the door open for future resolutions, including one that would repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force, and one that wouldn’t allow any money to fund military actions in Iran not authorized by Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday that the House of Representatives would be voting on a resolution Thursday that would limit President Trump’s ability to go to war with Iran
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives at a closed door briefing with top Trump administration officials that Democrats left feeling unconvinced
She started her statement by calling Trump’s decision to kill Iranian General Qassem Soleimani ‘provocative and disproportionate’ saying it endangered the lives of military members and civilians alike.
‘Since then, the President has made clear that he does not have a coherent strategy to keep the American people safe, achieve de-escalation with Iran and ensure stability in the region,’ Pelosi went on.
Members of Congress, she said, had ‘serious, urgent concerns’ about the administration’s moves in Iran ‘and about its lack of strategy moving forward.’
‘Our concerns were not addressed by the President’s insufficient War Powers Act notification and by the Administration’s briefing today,’ she added.
Pelosi had teased that a War Powers Act resolution was coming as she left that Iran-related House briefing telling reporters, ‘when we’re ready, we’ll make that announcement.’
It didn’t take long, as the announcement came as the same group of Trump officials was concluded their second briefing of the day, with U.S. senators.
The briefing, put on by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, and CIA Director Gina Haspel, was supposed to inform lawmakers on why the Trump administration decided to target and kill Soleimani.
Democrats came out largely unconvinced.
‘I leave more troubled than when I went into it,’ Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia told reporters afterward. ‘I will characterize my overall impression, which was profoundly unconvincing.’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives to conduct briefings for members of Congress on Capitol Hill Wednesday
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (left) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley (right) arrive to brief lawmakers
They also said the officials offered no details on what kind of attack Soleimani was planning.
Trump officials had said Soleimani was caught ‘red-handed’ planning a threat against the United States and that is why President Donald Trump ordered him killed.
‘The fact of the matter is, Soleimani was caught red-handed on the ground in Baghdad, one terrorist leader of a terrorist organization meeting with another terrorist leader to synchronize and plan additional attacks on American forces, diplomats and facilities,’ Esper said on CNN Tuesday.
Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton, a retired Marine who served four tours in Iraq, said the Trump officials were ‘grossly unspecific’ about what threats were posed to the United States.
‘They made some very vague statements but were grossly unspecific,’ he said in a response to a question from DailyMail.com after the briefing.
‘Everything in that briefing confirmed all of my concerns and fears about this administration’s complete lack of a strategy for what’s going forward,’ he noted.
Moulton said the administration officials were not on the same page about their justification for Soleimani’s death.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks between the House and the Senate sides of the Capitol Building Wednesday after briefing members of the House of Representatives
‘When the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense separately cited their three points of Iran strategy where they didn’t even line up. And they’re sitting right next to each other,’ he said. ‘It is abundantly clear they have no strategy for what comes next.’
Lawmakers coming out of the nearly one hour briefing said the officials first gave their presentation and then took questions from the members of Congress.
The first was on the legal justification of the attack. Democrats have complained President Trump should have consulted Congress before he took such an action.
‘The administration has not offered a remotely sufficient justification for the legal basis of this action,’ Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin said.
‘Article II,’ Connolly said when asked the administration’s justification. ‘Last time I checked to get to Article II you’ve gotta look at Article I.’
Article II of the U.S. Constitution deals with executive powers while Article I describes the power of Congress, which includes the right to declare war.
‘The basic Constitutional design is that Congress declares war because the framers of the Constitution saw that the princes and kings were plunging their nations into wars of ambition and political advantage in order to distract their populations from political problems,’ Raskin said. ‘And the framers had a lot of wisdom in vesting the war power in Congress and we should get back to that original Constitutional notion.’