In a 224-to-194 vote on Thursday, the Democratic-controlled House approved War Powers Resolution amid increased tensions between Iran and the United States following the US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last Friday.
The vote reflected the deep divide in Congress between Democrats, who accuse Trump of acting recklessly in the assassination of Iran’s top general and Trump’s fellow Republicans who strongly support the president.
“The president has to make the case first, first, not after he launches an ill-advised attack and then comes up with a reason why it was necessary and why it was legal,” said Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Meanwhile, Representative Mike McCaul, ranking Republican on the foreign affairs panel, said, “Instead of supporting the president, my Democrat colleagues are dividing Americans at a critical time.”
McCaul said the resolution would “tie the president’s hands.”
While the majority of Republicans opposed the resolution, at least two GOP senators, Rand Paul and Mike Lee, expressed support for it.
Now that passed in the House, the measure will be sent to the Republican-controlled Senate, where its fate remains unclear.
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If passed by the House and Senate, the measure does not need to be signed by Trump for it to go into effect.
Meanwhile, the White House issued a statement opposing the resolution.
“This concurrent resolution is misguided, and its adoption by Congress could undermine the ability of the United States to protect American citizens whom Iran continues to seek to harm,” the Statement of Administration Policy said.
Trump has been harshly criticized after he ordered the US military to carry out an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport, assassinating Soleimani and the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as well as eight other companions.
In retaliation against the US attack, Iran launched more than a dozen missiles on two airbases in Iraq housing US troops early on Wednesday.