On Friday, July 12, 2019, the House voted 251-170 to greenlight an amendment which would block President Donald Trump from taking military action against Iran.
The amendment in question would bar funds for U.S. military action against Iran unless Congress has declared war or implemented another authorization measure.
Several America First Republicans broke party lines to support this amendment, including staunch America First congressman Matt Gaetz, who co-sponsored the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 27 Republicans joined Democrats to support the amendment. On the other hand, 7 Democrats voted against it.
California Congressman Ro Khanna, the chief sponsor of this amendment, praised this measure for the message it sends to Trump.
Khanna told reporters, “It reminds the president that the American people, both Democrats and Republicans, don’t want another war in the Middle East.”
He added, “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.”
The Iran amendment was added in the middle of rising tensions with the Islamic Republic. A few weeks ago, Trump said that he was preparing to launch an attack on Iran after it shot down an unmanned American drone.
Gaetz declared on the House floor, “If my war-hungry colleagues — some of whom have already suggested that we invade Venezuela, North Korea and probably a few other countries before lunch time 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.”
However, neoconservative Republicans reverted back to their usual ways by arguing that the amendment would limit Trump and the military’s ability to attack Iran.
Sticking to defense contractor cues, House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Michael McCaul stated “You don’t handcuff the president, the commander in chief, you don’t handcuff him in advance of any preparation from dealing with a hostile, state sponsor of terror, and this is just wrong.”
The next fight will be in the Republican-controlled Senate, where there will be numerous obstacles from neoconservative hawks.
Past resolutions to end the conflict in Yemen passed through both chambers of Congress, but ultimately met Trump’s veto.
Should this measure make its way out of the Senate, it may likely receive a veto from the Trump administration due to the neoconservative influences in his cabinet.
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