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) KhannaHillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues Khanna calls for internet 'fairness doctrine' in response to controversial Trump tweets Khanna: Coronavirus has 'accelerated' the need for rural broadband 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 LeeHouse Democrats unveil measure to condemn police brutality Police killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick Barbara Lee: Congress should focus on eliminating poverty 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 TrumpMichael Flynn transcripts reveal plenty except crime or collusion 50 people arrested in Minneapolis as hundreds more National Guard troops deployed Missouri state lawmaker sparks backlash by tweeting 'looters deserve to be shot' 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.