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House approves measure blocking funding for war with Iran

House approves measure blocking funding for war with Iran
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The House has approved a bill to block funding for military action against Iran.

In a largely party-line vote of 228-175, the House on Thursday passed the No War Against Iran Act offered by Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally MORE (D-Calif.).

“The reality is that Congress needs to exercise the power of the purse,” Khanna told reporters ahead of the vote. “We need to make it very clear that Congress is not going to authorize a dime for an offensive war in Iran.”

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House Democrats scheduled a vote on Khanna’s bill, as well as a separate one from Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Top contender for Biden Defense chief would be historic pick Overnight Defense: 5 US service members killed in international peacekeeping helicopter crash in Egypt | Progressives warn Biden against Defense nominee with contractor ties | Trump executive order to ban investment in Chinese military-linked companies MORE (D-Calif.) to repeal the 2002 authorization for the use of military force, as fears of war between the United States and Iran spiked earlier this month.

The two sides appeared to be at the brink of war after President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE ordered a drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Iran retaliated with a missile strike on an Iraqi military base housing U.S. troops, an attack that gave dozens of U.S. troops traumatic brain injuries.

Khanna’s bill would prohibit federal funding from being used for military action against Iran except in cases of self-defense or if Congress has specifically authorized the action.

Khanna’s bill is not likely to get a vote in the Senate. It, as well as Lee’s bill, was previously approved by the House as an amendment to the annual defense policy bill, but it was stripped from the final version of the defense bill during negotiations with the Senate.

Unlike a separate war powers resolution expected to be voted on in the Senate, Khanna and Lee’s bills do not have built in mechanisms for Democrats to force a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Most Republicans derided Khanna’s bill as “dangerous” and “irresponsible.” Several Republicans also complained about the procedure Democrats used to bring the bill to the floor, which blocked Republicans from offering a motion to recommit. Such a motion is the last opportunity to amend legislation in the House and was successfully used by Republicans a couple times last year to the embarrassment of Democratic leadership.