Khanna: Timing of Iran bill being weighed against getting bigger majority

Khanna: Timing of Iran bill being weighed against getting bigger majority
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Biden VP possible next week; Meadows says relief talks 'miles apart' Google's work from home extension could be a boon for rural America Sanders, Khanna introduce bill to produce face masks for all Americans MORE (D-Calif.), who is sponsoring a bill to block funding for military action against Iran, said Friday that Democrats are weighing speed against the size of the vote as they determine the timing of his bill.

“We want to move fast, but we also want to move which will have the biggest majority,” he told reporters Friday afternoon. “And so I think [House Majority Leader] Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThis week: Negotiators hunt for coronavirus deal as August break looms The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Fauci gives his COVID-19 vaccine estimate Congress rightfully rejects dangerous effort to cut defense budget by 10 percent MORE’s [D-Md.] been very, very helpful in talking to some of the frontline members and moderate members and getting them on board with the language in the bill, but make sure that we are unified as a caucus."

"So I’d like to vote on it today or Tuesday, but I also want a vote with the biggest number, and so it’s balancing the urgency with sending as powerful a message,” Khanna said.

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Earlier on Friday, Hoyer said on the House floor there was a “possibility” of taking up Khanna’s bill next week, as well as one from Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeDemocrats introduce bill to repeal funding ban on abortions abroad Democrats hope clash resonates with key bloc: Women OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court strikes down Trump administration's methane rollback | Energy regulators uphold compensation for rooftop solar energy producers | Democrats target Confederate monuments in spending bill MORE (D-Calif.) to repeal the 2002 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), but that those votes “have not yet been scheduled."

The House has been moving on Iran-related bills after a spike in tensions the last couple weeks brought Washington and Tehran to the brink of war.

House Democrats have also been furious at what they describe as the Trump administration’s insufficient evidence and shifting explanations to justify the U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

On Thursday, President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE claimed Iran was “looking to blow up our embassy” in Baghdad — something Democrats say was never mentioned at a Wednesday briefing on the Soleimani strike. In a Friday interview with Fox News's Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamWisconsin Republicans raise questions about death of Black Trump supporter Cain given tributes after death from COVID-19 Trump again targets Fox: 'They totally forgot who got them where they are' MORE, Trump added that the threat was to a total of four U.S. embassies.

The House on Thursday passed a resolution seeking to block Trump from going to war with Iran in a 224-194 vote. Three Republicans supported the measure, while eight Democrats opposed it.

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Khanna’s bill and Lee’s bill were both in the version of the annual defense policy bill the House passed in July. But they were taken out from the final version that was signed into law during negotiations with the Senate.

In July, Khanna’s proposal was approved 251-170, with 27 Republicans supporting and seven Democrats opposing it. Lee’s was approved 242-180, with 14 Republican yeses and four Democratic noes.

Asked about the level of support he expects for his bill now, Khanna said he’s been told by at least one Democrat who voted against Thursday’s war powers resolution that he would vote for his bill: Rep. Max RoseMax RoseProgressive Caucus co-chair: Reported oversight change in intelligence office 'seems a bit...fascist' Alarm grows over Americans stranded in Yemen amid pandemic Moderate House Democrats introduce bill aimed at stopping China from exploiting coronavirus pandemic MORE (D-N.Y.).

Khanna said he hopes Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Biden VP possible next week; Meadows says relief talks 'miles apart' Hillicon Valley: House panel grills tech CEOs during much anticipated antitrust hearing | TikTok to make code public as it pushes back against 'misinformation' | House Intel panel expands access to foreign disinformation evidence Five takeaways as panel grills tech CEOs MORE (R-Fla.) a vocal Trump supporter who voted for the war powers resolution and co-sponsored Khanna’s July bill, supports his bill again, though their conversations recently have been more focused on the war powers resolution.

Khanna added that he is pushing for the language of his bill to be same as the one that was approved in July to maintain Republican support.

“It’s not in any way a statement about the president,” he said. “It’s a statement about constraining future war in Iran. And so I believe we have a better if we can keep the identical language, which I pushed for, to get a significant amount of Republican support, and we should try to get as much Republican support as possible.”