AntiWar.com & Rep. Keith Ellison / US Congress – 2018-05-31 00:56:43
House: No Authorization for US to Attack Iran
Amendment included in House version of NDAA
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(May 25, 2018) â€“ Passed unanimously in the House of Representatives on Tuesday night, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2019, which itself passed the House on Thursday, warns the Trump Administration that they have no legal authorization for a military attack on Iran.
The amendment was offered by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and was very simply worded. It simply declares that it is the sense of Congress that neither the NDAA nor any other act authorizes the use of military force agaist Iran.
The amendment became particularly important after President Trump withdrew the US from the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran. Analysts have warned that this move, followed by a litany of demands from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was setting the stage for a US war.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said the amendment sends a clear message to the Trump Administration that “Congress has the power to decide issues of war and peace.” Whether this remains in the final version of the NDAA remains to be seen.
The Senate version does not appear to contain a comparable amendment, and that means it is possible that the final reconciled House and Senate version of the NDAA might remove this language. Given a number of outspoken hawks and a unanimous vote, it seems likely many are expecting this amendment won’t survive the final bill.
US House Makes Clear That There Is
No Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iran
A bipartisan amendment introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and cosponsored by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) passed the US House as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019
WASHINGTON (May 24, 2018) — On Tuesday night, the House unanimously passed an amendment making clear Congress’s position that no law exists which gives the President power to launch a military strike against Iran. Today, that amendment passed the US House as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019.
“The unanimous passage of this bipartisan amendment is a strong and timely counter to the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran deal and its increasingly hostile rhetoric,” Rep. Ellison said. “This amendment sends a powerful message that the American people and Members of Congress do not want a war with Iran. Today, Congress acted to reclaim its authority over the use of military force.”
“I am pleased with the inclusion of this amendment, which clarifies that the President does not have the authority to go to war with Iran,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Just weeks after President Trump shamefully pulled out of the Iran Deal, it is more important than ever to ensure diplomacy with Iran and in the region. I am proud to be a cosponsor of this important amendment and will do everything in my power to ensure we do not go to war with Iran.”
“The War Powers Act and Constitution is clear that our country’s military action must first always be authorized by Congress. A war with Iran would be unconstitutional and costly. The unanimous passage of Rep. Ellison’s amendment sends a strong message to Secretary Pompeo, National Security Advisor Bolton, and the Trump administration that Congress has the power to decide issues of war and peace,” said Rep. Khanna.
“This amendment’s historic passage affirms the fact that the American people do not want to go to war with Iran. Following the President’s misguided withdrawal from the JCPOA, the House of Representatives sent a clear message by passing this amendment unanimously: unauthorized war with Iran is not an option. The President must listen to the American people and return to diplomacy as the primary solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” said Rep. Schakowsky.
“Congress is sending a clear message that President Trump does not have the authority to go to war with Iran,” Rep. McGovern said. “With President Trump’s reckless violation of the Iran Deal and failure to get Congressional approval for military strikes on Syria, there’s never been a more important time for Congress to reassert its authority. It’s long past time to end the White House’s blank check on war and the passage of this amendment is a strong start.”
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