2 Democrats say they voted against war powers resolution 'because it merely restated existing law'

2 Democrats say they voted against war powers resolution 'because it merely restated existing law'
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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 LuriaMixed feelings on war power limits: Lawmakers and vet candidates Lawmakers warn Pentagon against reduction of US forces in Africa Tenth Congressional Black Caucus member backs Biden MORE (D-Va.) and Max RoseMax RoseSan Francisco mayor endorses Bloomberg Mixed feelings on war power limits: Lawmakers and vet candidates Rep. Bobby Rush endorses Bloomberg's White House bid 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. 

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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 Massie2 Democrats say they voted against war powers resolution 'because it merely restated existing law' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi plans to send impeachment articles next week NY Times's Haberman: Trump 'surprised' Iranian strike wasn't 'more of a unifying event' MORE (Ky.) and Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyOvernight Energy: Trump issues rule replacing Obama-era waterway protections | Pelosi slams new rule as 'an outrageous assault' | Trump water policy exposes sharp divides 2 Democrats say they voted against war powers resolution 'because it merely restated existing law' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi plans to send impeachment articles next week MORE (Fla.), joined most Democrats to vote in favor of the measure, which is aimed at reining in President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet 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.