McCarthy: War powers resolution has 'no power whatsoever'

McCarthy: War powers resolution has 'no power whatsoever'
© Greg Nash

House minority leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update Pelosi, McConnell clash over next coronavirus bill Pelosi scales back coronavirus infrastructure proposal MORE (R-Calif.) said in a new interview that the war powers resolution passed in the House last week has "no power whatsoever."

"The resolution they put it on, they did something that's called a concurrent resolution, which is non-binding, has no power whatsoever," the House minority leader told radio talk show host John Catsimatidis.

The congressman then asserted that House Democrats were lying to the public by saying that the resolution was actually doing something substantial.

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"All they're doing is weakening our country by telling Iran that we are divided," he added.

McCarthy, like many GOP lawmakers, supported President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE's authorization of the air strike last week that killed Qassem Soleimani – Iran's top military commander – in Baghdad. 

Conversely, many Democrats have argued that killing Soleimani could be perceived as an act of war, pushing the U.S. closer to a full-fledged conflict with Iran.

Under the War Powers Act that was passed in 1973, the president can only send the country to war with the consent of Congress after a vote.

While advocating for executive authority to enter into military conflict, the White House has cited the 2002 Iraq Resolution, which authorized former President George H.W. Bush to take military action against Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government.

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In retaliation for the killing of Soleimani, Iran launched a missile strike that hit two Iraqi military bases that house U.S. troops, but no American casualties were sustained.

Earlier on Saturday, Trump and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS to label white supremacist group as terrorist organization for first time Trump administration eyes Afghan security forces funding for aid cut: report Trump says 40,000 Americans have been repatriated who were stranded abroad MORE both tweeted messages of support for the anti-government protestors that flooded the streets of Tehran. The demonstrations began after Iran on Saturday admitted to shooting down a Kyiv-bound commercial plane departing from Tehran Wednesday morning.

It's unclear what the Trump administration's next move regarding Iran will be. In his address to the nation Wednesday, he mentioned new "punishing" sanctions that would be put on Iran, but didn't mention further military action.

Disclosure: Catsimatidis is an investor in The Hill.