House Plans Votes to Rein in Iran War on Thursday

Bills will apply amendments to a commemorative coin vote

Two measures aimed at preventing President Trump from unilaterally attacking Iran without Congressional authorization are to be considered Thursday by the House of Representatives. The measures had their start in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), though both were stripped out of that by the Senate.

The first measure explicitly bars any funding to an Iran War unless Congress first approves of the conflict. Legally this is supposed to be the case anyhow, but in recent administrations, presidents claim to be able to start wars without direct Congressional authorization.

The second measure would repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Iraq (AUMF). The AUMF was passed to invade Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and with that government long gone, its only value is that some officials argue it provides legal cover for anything the president does in Iraq and potentially in Iran and Syria, since they are close to Iraq.

While the White House has threatened to veto both measures, President Trump suggested he had no opposition to the AUMF repeal on Twitter, saying  troops in Iraq are “down to 5000 soldiers and going down” and saying everyone should “vote their HEART!”

House Republicans are complaining that the votes are a trick, because they are adding amendments to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act, which authorizes the minting of a single medal to give to the Merchant Marine museum.

Tacking the bills on as amendments to another bill prevents them from being amended themselves. House Republicans complained this was dangerous and unprecedented, while Democrats noted that both the House and Senate do this all the time and there is plenty of precedent.

Those wishing to contact their representative on the matter can find contact information here. The measure is entitled “No War Against Iran Act; To repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.