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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) KhannaTech antitrust bills create strange bedfellows in House markup Democrats fear they are running out of time on Biden agenda Public option fades with little outcry from progressives 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 LeeOvernight Defense: House votes to repeal 2002 Iraq war powers | Pentagon leaders press senators to reimburse National Guard | New pressure on US-Iran nuclear talks House votes to repeal 2002 Iraq war powers Overnight Defense: Biden, Putin agree to launch arms control talks at summit | 2002 war authorization repeal will get Senate vote | GOP rep warns Biden 'blood with be on his hands' without Afghan interpreter evacuation 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 TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum 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.