Lawmakers: Trump Needs Congressional Permission Before Attacking Iran

Administration argues they don't need Congressional oversight

A number of lawmakers are pushing for an amendment into the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) clarifying that Congress has never authorized a war against Iran, and that President Trump would need to get authorization before attacking Iran.

This has been a recurring subject of debate with the Trump Administration, as officials argue that they have all the authorization they need, but are being extremely coy about what legal justification they’d actually use.

That’s where the amendment would come in, by preemptively defunding any unauthorized war against Iran. This is seen as increasingly important after a War Powers Act resolution pointed out Yemen was unauthorized, President Trump vetoed it and kept the war going.

The power of the purse is one real way Congress could flex its Constitutional war-making authority, and many believe that they’re virtually obliged to try this, since all other efforts to tamp down unilateral war-making aren’t working.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of