Progressives push for votes to block funding for war against Iran

Progressives push for votes to block funding for war against Iran
© Aaron Schwartz

House progressives on Tuesday called for votes on legislation to block funding for military action against Iran and on repealing the 2002 authorization of military force that would go beyond an expected vote this week to limit President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE's actions in the country.

Freshman Rep. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinBiden approval ratings drop in seven key congressional districts: GOP-aligned poll House panel approves B boost for defense budget The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Biden tested by Afghanistan exit, Ida's wrath MORE (D-Mich.), a former CIA and Pentagon analyst who served multiple tours in Iraq and represents a competitive district, is expected to lead a still-unreleased resolution stating that the Trump administration's military hostilities with Iran must cease within 30 days if no further congressional action is taken.

Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are expected to back that resolution but are also pushing for votes on additional bills to restrict the Trump administration's actions against Iran following an airstrike last week that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus called for "immediate floor action" on two other measures.

One from Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Dems demand accounting from Big Oil Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Democrats call for oil company executives to testify on disinformation campaign MORE (D-Calif.) would prohibit funds for offensive military force in or against Iran without prior authorization from Congress.

The other bill, previously introduced by Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeOcasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan Biden to speak at UN general assembly in person Overnight Defense & National Security — Blinken heads to the hot seat MORE (D-Calif.) last year, would repeal the 2002 authorization of military force against Iraq, which the administration used as legal justification for the Soleimani strike.

"In addition to the War Powers Resolution, we believe it is imperative to simultaneously pursue all avenues to prevent a disastrous war with Iran," Lee and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairmen Mark PocanMark William PocanBiden seeks to build Democratic support among unions Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — A warning shot on Biden's .5T plan Overnight Defense & National Security — America's longest war ends MORE (D-Wis.) and Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalManchin suggests pausing talks on .5 trillion package until 2022: report Democrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (D-Wash.) said in a joint statement.

"Given the lack of any coherent strategy by the White House to de-escalate tensions and protect U.S. troops, regional partners, and innocent civilians, Congress must act swiftly to prevent another endless war," they added.

The House passed an annual defense authorization bill last summer that included the proposals from Khanna and Lee. But both of their measures were ultimately left out of the final version that Trump signed into law last month.

The War Powers Resolution to be unveiled by Slotkin and Democratic leaders this week to limit the Trump administration's actions against Iran is expected to pass easily with widespread support from Democrats.

"As Members of Congress, our first responsibility is to keep the American people safe. For this reason, we are concerned that the Administration took this action without the consultation of Congress and without respect for Congress’s war powers granted to it by the Constitution," Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden pushes back at Democrats on taxes Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Of partisan fights and follies, or why Democrats should follow Manchin, not Sanders MORE (D-Calif.) wrote in a letter to her colleagues on Sunday.

A House vote on the resolution has not yet been scheduled but is expected later in the week.

Yet it's unlikely that Senate Republicans, who have largely backed Trump for ordering the strike that killed Soleimani, will support the measure to restrict his powers.

Congress did pass a resolution last year to force the Trump administration to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, but Trump vetoed it. An attempt to override Trump's veto in the Senate fell short of the necessary two-thirds majority.

Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Christie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group America needs a new strategy for Pacific Island Countries MORE and Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperMilley and China — what the Senate really needs to know Biden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief defends Milley after Trump book criticism | Addresses critical race theory | Top general says Taliban has 'strategic momentum' in war MORE, are slated to brief members of the House and Senate about Iran on Wednesday.