Trump urges lawmakers to vote their heart on war authority repeal after White House threatens veto

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President Trump on Wednesday urged House lawmakers to “vote their HEART” on legislation to repeal the 2002 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF).

The president appeared to give the green light to Republicans to vote in favor of the bill one day after the White House threatened to veto the measure.

“On the Iraq War Resolution being voted on tomorrow in the House of Represenatives, we are down to 5000 soldiers, and going down, and I want everyone, Republican and Democrat, to vote their HEART!” Trump tweeted.

The House is scheduled to vote Thursday to repeal the 2002 AUMF, which was passed to authorize the Iraq War.

Lawmakers have at times criticized how presidents in both parties have used its broad powers to justify military action. The debate was renewed earlier this month after Trump ordered a strike on Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Quds Force.

The vote comes as Congress seeks to rein in Trump’s ability to go to war with Iran amid heightened tensions between the two countries. The House will also vote Thursday on a separate bill to block funding for military action against Iran.

The White House signaled this week it would veto both measures. The administration warned that repealing the 2002 AUMF would “embolden our enemies” by curbing the president’s ability to “defend itself and its partner forces.”

The measure gives the president broad latitude to act in response to threats from Iraq and threats directed by Iran. 

It’s unclear how many Republicans will support the bills on Thursday. Just three GOP lawmakers supported a war powers resolution the House passed earlier this month that was also aimed at limiting Trump’s ability to strike Iran.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) reportedly drew the ire of the White House after voting in favor of the earlier measure, and told Politico he believes he was left off the president’s impeachment defense team because of the vote.

Tags AUMF Donald Trump Iran conflict Iran tensions Matt Gaetz war powers

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