This resolution would direct the president to terminate the use of U.S. military forces to engage in hostilities against Iran or any part of its government or military unless Congress declares war, enacts an authorization for use of military force, or the use of force is necessary to protect the U.S. from an imminent attack. It was introduced in response to the recent escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, such as the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani — who led Iranian-backed militias in Iraq & Syria in addition to providing support to designated terror groups such as Hamas & Hezbollah — and Iran’s ballistic missile strikes on bases in Iraq.
The legislation wouldn’t prevent the president from using military force against Al Qaeda or associated forces; limit the executive branch’s requirements under the War Powers Resolution; affect provisions of a subsequent congressional authorization of military force; prevent the use of appropriate military force to defend U.S. allies and partners; or authorize the use of military force.
The resolution also includes several findings, including that:
Iran is a leading state sponsor of terrorism and engages in a range of destabilizing activities throughout the Middle East, many of which were spearheaded by Soleimani.
The U.S. has an inherent right to self-defense against imminent armed attacks, including against diplomatic personnel serving abroad.
That the executive branch should indicate to Congress why military action was necessary within a window of opportunity to deter an imminent armed attack, and what harm would possibly result from missing that window.
The U.S. has national interests in preserving its partnership with Iraq and other countries in the region by combating terrorists such as ISIS, preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability, and supporting the people of the Middle East who demand human rights and an end to corruption.
The American people and members of the Armed Forces deserve a credible explanation of the use of military force, and the War Powers Resolution requires congressional consultation.
As a concurrent resolution, this legislation is non-binding and wouldn’t advance to the president’s desk if approved by both chambers of Congress. Past Supreme Court rulings raise questions about the constitutionality of using of concurrent resolutions (rather than joint resolutions which require a presidential signature) to effect a legislative veto.