House Passes War Powers Challenge to Attack on Iran

If passed by Senate, it cannot be vetoed by President Trump

In a vote heavily split along party lines, the House of Representatives passed H.Con.Res.83, a War Powers Resolution seeking to limit President Trump’s ability to unilaterally attack Iran without any Congressional authorization, by a vote of 224-194. It also opposed last week’s attack on the Baghdad International Airport, which assassinated Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Though many Republicans argued it was non-binding, analyst Robert Naiman pointed out that under the War Powers Act’s own language, this type of resolution is binding. The concurrent resolution could not be vetoed by the president.

Supporters of the bill noted that Trump carried out the attack without significant Congressional dialogue, let alone authorization. They added that President Trump has shown himself unable to articulate a real strategy for the war.

Opponents argued that it is unconstitutional to question the president’s attack, and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) argued that an American is worth 100 Gen. Soleimanis, meaning the death of a single US contractor justified killing many more Iranians. Other opposing reps echoed President Trump’s allegations against Iran, offering no more evidence than he did. 

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) argued it is a war Americans don’t want and that Congress never authorized, saying the vote was necessary to reassert Congressional authority over war declarations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.