The House will vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit President Donald Trump’s military action against Iran on Thursday, Jan. 9, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement was issued less than a day after Iran launched more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops and coalition forces in what Iranian state TV said was revenge for the United States killing Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week. The United States designated Soleimani as the head of the terrorist group Quds Force.
“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 wrote, adding that the resolution will be brought to the floor Thursday after going to the Rules Committee.
In the statement, Pelosi explained that the Trump administration last week conducted a provocative and disproportionate military airstrike targeting high-level Iranian military officials without consulting Congress. The action endangered U.S. service members, diplomats, and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran.
The speaker claimed that President Trump since then “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.”
“Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against 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 wrote.
Pelosi added that the House may also soon consider another legislation to keep America safe. The measure would include Rep. Barbara Lee’s resolution to repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and Rep. Ro Khanna’s legislation to prohibit funding for military action against Iran not authorized by Congress.
Pelosi also urged the administration to “work with the Congress to advance an immediate, effective de-escalatory strategy that prevents further violence,” saying America and the world cannot afford war.
The speaker’s announcement came after the Congress members were briefed Wednesday on the justification for the U.S. airstrike that killed Soleimani, presented by the administration’s top officials, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NBC News reported.
President Trump on Wednesday morning delivered an address to the nation following the Iranian missile strike, in which he said Soleimani was the world’s top terrorist that the United States military eliminated to protect American lives.
“As the head of the Quds force, Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities. He trained terrorists armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims,” President Trump said.
“Soleimani directed the recent attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq that badly wounded four service members and killed one American. And he orchestrated the violent assault on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him.”
“Soleimani’s hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood. He should have been terminated long ago,” President Trump continued. “By removing Soleimani, we have sent a powerful message to terrorists: if you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our people.”
The president added that the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime until it changes its behavior.
President Trump also offered an option to Iranian people and leaders, saying the United States hopes for Iran to have a “great future, one that you deserve—one of prosperity at home in harmony.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 8, 2020