House passes war powers resolution to check presidential military control

Autumn Page, Marketing Director

The House voted to limit Trump’s military actions against Iran, finally, and Congress took its latest stab at reaffirming its constitutional authority to declare war. 

According to CNN, the House of Representatives voted to approve a resolution to restrain the president’s ability to use military action against Iran without congressional approval, amid the rising tensions. 

The resolution would require the president to seek congressional approval before another military-led strike against Iran. 

The attempt to pass a war powers resolution has become a tool that allows Congress to criticize a president’s actions without taking a difficult vote themselves, according to Columbia University law professor Matthew Waxman, a former national security official in the George W. Bush administration, in an article with the Los Angeles Times.

Representatives Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Francis Rooney, R-Fla., crossed party lines to vote in favor.

Democratic Representatives Max Rose, N.Y.; Ben McAdams, Utah; Anthony Brindisi, N.Y.; Joe Cunningham, S.C.; Elaine Luria, Va.; Josh Gottheimer. N.J.; Kendra Horn, Okla.; and Stephanie Murphy, Fla., voted against the resolution.

In the end, the vote was 224-194. Tea!

Eventually, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives approved the War Powers Act, directing President Trump to seek consent from Congress before taking new military action against Iran.

However, that resolution was nonbinding, which pisses me off, and since it passed through the House, like everything else, it has to go through Senate. There isn’t a guarantee that it will pass, though, because of the Republican-led body. 

Or, hear me out, it can pass because the president is psychotic and needs to be restrained. 

House Democrats argue that concurrent resolutions under the War Powers Act are a special case, and they are legally binding. Republicans, however, say the resolution is not binding.

Can y’all agree on something for once, please?

There’s speculation that the War Powers Act won’t be binding, even if it passes through the Senate. 

Not once since the 1973 law was adopted has Congress successfully used it to block a president’s military actions, including some rather large-scale and long-term operations, such as President Reagan committing nearly 2,000 troops in Grenada in 1983 and President Clinton committing thousands of troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995.

This is only a little bit worrying.

More recently, Congress demonstrated unity in exerting its war powers authority, but again failed. Last year both the House and Senate passed a joint resolution seeking to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, following the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia. Despite this, the measure was vetoed by Trump, and neither chamber had the votes to override it. 

This particular situation is extra confusing to me, because we all see what Trump is doing, right? We know he didn’t get approval for a strike against Iran … and the purpose of Congress to declare war, not the president. 

So do we honestly want the president to continue to use the military without congressional approval?