House approves measure blocking funding for war with Iran
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 Khanna (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.”
House Democrats scheduled a vote on Khanna’s bill, as well as a separate one from Rep. Barbara Lee (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 Trump 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.
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