Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding (i.e. symbolic, toothless) resolution to give President Trump a piece of its mind regarding his actions in Iran.
Per the Washington Times, The nonbinding resolution calls on the White House to “terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran or any part of its government or military,” unless Mr. Trump receives congressional approval or “to defend against an imminent armed attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions,” as set out under the 1973 War Powers Resolution.
It's kind of like this…
Hey Trump, you better not do this sort of thing without telling us, OR ELSE.
Or else what?
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted after the vote that “the “resolution that Democrats voted for has as much force of law as a New Year’s resolution. How embarrassing.”
The War Powers resolution that Democrats just voted for has as much force of law as a New Year's resolution.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 9, 2020
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended making the resolution non-binding by saying “This is a statement of the Congress of the United States. I will not have that statement diminished by having the president veto it or not.”
But yeah, it’s got about as much force right now as the “impeachment” voted on by the House, which is going exactly nowhere because Pelosi won’t even transfer the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for an actual trial.
Sure, Democrats get to say Trump was “impeached,” but effectively all they're really expressing is:
However…of course the story isn’t over.
According to the Washington Times, Pelosi said Wednesday that the House may soon consider legislation to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, (AUMF, passed under George W. Bush) as well as additional legislation to prevent the president from spending funds on hostilities with Iran without explicit congressional authorization.
And although this new resolution is non-binding (and concurrent – which means it doesn’t need Trump’s signature to go into effect), it will still head to the Republican-led Senate – where it’s not expected to go very far, except...
Democrat Senator Tim Kaine is putting together his own legislation requiring the president to withdraw U.S. forces engaged in military activity against Iran within 30 days unless it is in response to an “imminent” threat.
Of course, “imminent” can be a debatable concept, based on some conjecture and possibly dodgy intelligence. We all remember about the “weapons of mass destruction” that helped pass the 2002 AUMF.
Kaine already has two Republicans willing to support his measure: Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Both have criticized Trump’s decision to take military action and slammed a high-level briefing on the ongoing situation with Iran.
MORE NEWS: @SenMikeLee and @RandPaul emerge from all-senators briefing to say they now support a Democratic plan for a new War Powers Resolution. Lee called the briefing “insulting” and worst he’s had from military officials in his 9 years here.— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) January 8, 2020
It remains to be seen whether Trump’s decisive drone strike on Major General Qasem Soleimani will have the desired longterm effect on Iran. According to Senator Paul’s tweet, it would appear the president is looking to avoid a protracted ground war in any event.
I spoke with @realDonaldTrump today. The president shares my thoughts that the last thing we need is another ground war. He doesn’t want endless wars. I continue to hope for de-escalation and diplomacy.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 8, 2020
What do you think should be the next course of action? Was the president correct to order the drone strike without congressional approval? And how much of a presence should the U.S. maintain on the ground in Iraq?