Two of the Democrats who voted against the war powers resolution that passed the House with a majority of the party’s support said they did so because the “symbolic vote” was a distraction that didn't help fix the “real challenges” facing the Congress.
“We voted against the War Powers Resolution that the House passed this week because it merely restated existing law,” Reps. Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaConservative group targets Spanberger, Luria in new ads ahead of reconciliation bill Virginia races offer an early preview of Democrats' midterm challenges House panel approves B boost for defense budget MORE (D-Va.) and Max RoseMax RoseMax Rose preparing for rematch with Nicole Malliotakis: report 'Blue wave' Democrats eye comebacks after losing reelection Overnight Defense: Austin takes helm at Pentagon | COVID-19 briefing part of Day 1 agenda | Outrage over images of National Guard troops in parking garage MORE (D-N.Y.) wrote in an op-ed published in The New York Times on Sunday.
“It addressed a de-escalated conflict with a symbolic vote that did more to distract than to fix the real challenges we face,” the Democrats added.
Luria and Rose noted their own experiences serving in the Middle East while arguing against the war power resolution in the op-ed. The Democrats said that if Congress “wants to assert its power to declare war,” lawmakers need to debate a new Authorization of Use of Military Force, or AUMF.
“That is where decisions of war and peace are made,” they wrote.
Luria and Rose were among the eight Democrats to vote against the resolution. Two Republicans, Reps. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieReps. Greene, Roy fined for not wearing masks on House floor Sixth House GOP lawmaker issued K metal detector fine Kentucky GOP lawmaker deletes tweet comparing vaccine mandates to Holocaust MORE (Ky.) and Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyGOP leader taking proxy voting fight to Supreme Court Pricing carbon can help solve the infrastructure funding dilemma Allies of GOP leader vow to oust Liz Cheney MORE (Fla.), joined most Democrats to vote in favor of the measure, which is aimed at reining in 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 military action toward Iran in the wake of a U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Luria and Rose wrote that Trump, who did not inform Congress of the strike before it was launched, was “within his right to order this attack and is now correctly de-escalating the conflict with the clear mandate that we must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear capability.”
“We are not at war with Iran, and no president can engage in war without congressional approval. But the commander in chief holds the authority and responsibility to target hostile combatants who threaten American forces and civilians,” they wrote. “The War Powers Resolution passed by the House this week sends the wrong message to the American people and the world that our nation is heading toward or is currently engaged in war with Iran. Neither are true.”
Luria and Rose wrote that Congress needs to debate “how we move forward” rather than “whether the president had authority” to order Soleimani’s killing.