Hoyer: War powers vote coming 'sooner rather than later'

Hoyer: War powers vote coming 'sooner rather than later'
© Greg Nash

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate House to vote on Iran war powers bills sought by progressives Khanna: Timing of Iran bill being weighed against getting bigger majority MORE (D-Md.) said Wednesday that Democrats won't dally in voting on a resolution limiting President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE's military powers amid a heightened conflict with Iran.

The Maryland Democrat did not commit to a tentatively scheduled vote this week, but he indicated that Tuesday's strikes by Iran on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops would not deter Democrats from seeking to rein in Trump's authority to escalate aggressions with Tehran without congressional approval.

"We're working on this, and you're going to see it as soon as we believe it is prepared to move forward," he told reporters in the Capitol. "But it's going to be sooner rather than later."

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense: GAO finds administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid | Senate opens Trump trial | Pentagon to resume training Saudi students soon Hillicon Valley: FBI to now notify state officials of cyber breaches | Pelosi rips 'shameful' Facebook | 5G group beefs up lobby team | Spotify unveils playlists for pets Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti on impeachment: 'CNN can see through this nonsense' MORE (D-Calif.) announced Sunday that the House would vote on a war powers resolution designed to limit the Pentagon's engagement with Iran to 30 days, unless Congress provides explicit approval to extend operations. The effort, to be led by freshman Rep. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinJohn Lewis to miss Martin Luther King Jr. Day event House war powers sponsor expects to take up Senate version of resolution The lawmakers who bucked their parties on the war powers resolution MORE (D-Mich.), is a response to Trump's decision last week to approve a drone strike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

"This week, the House will introduce and vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran," Pelosi wrote Sunday in a letter to fellow House Democrats.

That timeline has been complicated, however, by disagreements between liberal and moderate Democrats about the scope of the limitations contained in the resolution, which has yet to be introduced.

Hoyer said Democrats are "pretty close to resolving" those divisions, predicting they'll secure plenty of support to pass the measure whenever it hits the floor.

The debate was also snarled by Iran's Tuesday attacks on a pair of Iraqi bases that are hosting U.S. troops, an episode raising fresh questions about the appropriateness of tying the Pentagon's hands just as the hostilities were mounting.

Democrats have largely dismissed those concerns, citing the constitutional responsibly of Congress — not the president — to declare war, while questioning Trump's rationale for targeting Soleimani to begin with.

"We are technically not at war with Iran, at this point in time," Hoyer said. "And the president needs to get the authority to do that, absent an imminent threat."