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 John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE's actions in the country.

Freshman Rep. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinGun control group rolls out House endorsements Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary Democrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus 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) KhannaThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former Rep. Delaney says Trump is spewing venom when he should be leading; Protests roil the nation as fears of new virus outbreaks grow Is the 'endless frontier' at an end? Hillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues 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 LeeDemocrats call for Congress to take action following death of George Floyd Black Caucus member unveils bill to create commission addressing legacy of slavery House Democrats unveil measure to condemn police brutality 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 PocanHouse punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate House cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA Pelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat MORE (D-Wis.) and Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalExpanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support House punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate Democrats press OSHA official on issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard 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 PelosiTrump praises 'domination' of DC protesters Pelosi, Schumer say treatment of protesters outside White House 'dishonors every value that faith teaches us' Democrats call for Congress to take action following death of George Floyd 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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPresidents and 'presidents' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump mobilizes military against 'angry mob,' holds controversial photo op The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden addresses protests over George Floyd's death MORE and Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperWhite House: Trump to use 'federal assets' in response to violent protests Overnight Defense: Esper, Milley part of 'command center' for response to protests over George Floyd killing | Several West Point cadets test positive for coronavirus ahead of Trump commencement speech | UN report says Taliban, al Qaeda not breaking ties 'Small number' of West Point cadets test positive for coronavirus ahead of Trump commencement address MORE, are slated to brief members of the House and Senate about Iran on Wednesday.