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After calls from many Democrats to vote on a measure to limit Trump’s ability to act against Iran, Nancy Pelosi has just announced that the House will be voting on a War Powers Resolution Thursday in order to do just that.
In her announcement of the impending vote, Pelosi referred to the airstrike that killed Soleimani, of which no Democrat members of Congress were briefed on, and explained,
“Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward. To honor our duty to keep the American people safe, the House will move forward with a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran.”
Limiting Trump's war powers is, of course, favored largely by Democrats, but also by a few Republicans.
Sen. Mike Lee and Rand Paul have come out against Trump and in favor of restricting his ability to act on Iran.
On Twitter, however, Pelosi's vote on such a resolution is coming across as largely partisan and another hypocritical attempt to take a hit at President Trump.
Take a look at these reaction tweets to the news:
NBC News has more details on the House vote to limit Trump's war powers:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Wednesday that the House will vote Thursday on a war powers resolution to limit the Trump administration's military actions against Iran.
The announcement comes less than a day after Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi air bases housing U.S. forces in response to the U.S. airstrike that killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani last week. Iran's retaliation had created some uncertainty among House Democrats earlier Wednesday about the path forward on the resolution.
"Last week, the Trump administration conducted a provocative and disproportionate military airstrike targeting high-level Iranian military officials," Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday.
"The administration took this action without consulting Congress," she added. "This action endangered our service members, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran. Since then, the president has made clear that he does not have a coherent strategy to keep the American people safe, achieve deescalation with Iran and ensure stability in the region."
Members of Congress were briefed Wednesday by top Trump administration officials, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the justification for the airstrike that killed Soleimani, the leader of Iran's elite and secretive Quds Force.
In an address to the nation Wednesday morning, Trump vowed to keep up the pressure on Tehran with "punishing" new sanctions on top of heavy economic restraints already in place, but he didn't suggest any additional military action in response to Iran's overnight missile attack.
"Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world," Trump said. "No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces and an early warning system that worked very well."
In her statement, Pelosi said members of Congress "have serious, urgent concerns about the administration's decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward. Our concerns were not addressed by the president's insufficient War Powers Act notification and by the administration's briefing today."
Pelosi said the resolution would be marked up by the Rules Committee on Wednesday night and go to the floor for a vote Thursday.
Many Democrats complained after the drone strike on Soleimani that the White House hadn't notified Congress beforehand. Pelosi said Saturday that "raises more questions than it answers" and "prompts serious and urgent questions about the timing, manner and justification of the administration's decision to engage in hostilities against Iran."
Pelosi also criticized the administration's decision to classify the notification, saying the move "compounds our many concerns, and suggests that the Congress and the American people are being left in the dark about our national security."
Democrats and some Republican lawmakers said Wednesday that they also found the administration's briefing lacking.
"I had hoped and expected to receive more information outlining the legal, factual and moral justification for the attack and left somewhat unsatisfied on that front," Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said, adding that "it was probably the worst briefing I've seen, at least on a military issue, in the nine years I've served in the United States Senate."
Lee said he would vote for a war powers resolution sponsored Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., which is similar to the House measure. "That briefing changed my mind," he said.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who was standing alongside Lee, agreed, saying, "Today, this is Senator Lee and I saying we are not abdicating our duty."
USA Today also said:
The House will vote Thursday on a measure that would limit President Donald Trump's ability to wage war with Iran, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced.
The Democratic House speaker said Trump's action last week – authorizing a drone strike that killed top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani – was "provocative and disproportionate" and done without consulting Congress.
Thursday's debate will shine a spotlight on the Soleimani killing and the possibility of further escalation between the U.S. and Iran. It will also air constitutional questions about the president's ability to order military action without congressional authorization.
“Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward," Pelosi said. “To honor our duty to keep the American people safe, the House will move forward with a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran."
But even if the measure passes the House, which is controlled by Democrats, it will face hurdles in the GOP-controlled Senate. And Trump can veto the measure, as he did last year when Congress tried to end the American military role in Yemen.