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house Bill H. Con. Res. 83

Should Congress Try to Block the Use of Military Force Against Iran?

Argument in favor

President Donald Trump’s decision to eliminate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani through the use of military force was disproportionate and raises the risk of an escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran into an all-out war. This resolution would make it clear that the president must receive authorization from Congress before starting a protracted war with Iran without undermining the military’s ability to defend itself.

John's Opinion
···
01/09/2020
Congress has the sole right to declare war according to the Constitution.
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jimK's Opinion
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01/09/2020
Any action has consequences that must be considered and carefully planned for. Just because an action is legal, just because an action is righteous, just because an action is expedient does not mean that it should be taken or even permitted to be taken if the consequences of that action can result in undermining our geopolitical interests, exposing our country to undue risk, or risk attainment of major American goals. The Soleimani strike conducted where, when and how is was conducted, was impulsive and frankly stupid. The easily foreseen consequences are a newly-unified Iranian people in their hatred of American imperialism, who days before were openly questioning their own governance in a way that would have resulted in the concessions that trump has wanted. The Iraqi’s voted to have Americans removed from their country. Our NATO allies are pissed because they were not given prior notification of the strike. Our allies are at increased risks from an Iranian theocracy re-engaging in nuclear armaments with the newfound support of their populace. Our allies are in immediate jeopardy of retaliatory strikes on their homelands where American military interests are housed. trump was presented a list of possible re-actions to take in response to the storming of our US embassy in Iraq, and he chose the most severe on the list, the Soleimani strike without considering the consequences. In his typical shoot first, then rationalize and defend his decision after the fact approach- he claimed Soleimani was planning near term major attacks, something that our intelligence agencies did not seem to know about beforehand, having stated immediately after, that there was no heightened chatter or indications of any immanent threat. In testimony to Congress even trump’s enablers in the trumpublican party were outraged when they were told, ‘just trust us- we need a show of unity’, apparently because they could not justify trump’s claims. Iran showed remarkable restraint in it’s rocket attacks, apparently targeting areas that would not risk American lives and leaking details that gave our troop’s hours notice to get to cover- I would bet this was done so that trump could not claim that this was the immanent threat that he, after the fact, tried to claim was the rationale for authorizing Soleimani’s execution. I do not think this is over. Congress needs to re-assert it’s legal ability to authorize military actions with significant geopolitical risks. Our Congressional committees must be notified before the Israeli government or fellow golfers at Mara LOCO; I would think that better options would have been taken. Just a reminder, neither trump nor any president is ever elected to ‘run’ our country- they are elected to ‘represent’ the people of this country, whose collective needs and desires are represented by the House primarily and the Senate to assure States rights are considered. Trump is becoming increasingly unstable, controls are needed. He should be removed from office because he is needlessly endangering us all.
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Brian's Opinion
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01/09/2020
Starting wars is not up to the President; it's up to Congress. The Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) from 2001 was meant to pursue the terrorists of 9/11, not for expanding military actions throughout the Middle East and against any country or group suspected of terrorism. Congress has ceded way too much power to the presidency in the past 20 years and it has to stop: we don't want a dictator or king. It's time to revoke the AUMF and write new laws around starting war. America cannot afford another war and we cannot continue to pursue military action for any reason chosen by any president.
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Argument opposed

Congress shouldn’t waste its time by considering a non-binding resolution that won’t do anything to restrain the executive branch’s war powers with respect to Iran. House Democrats are using this resolution to score political points and undermine the action taken to eliminate Iranian General Soleimani, who was responsible for killing hundreds of Americans & destabilizing much of the Middle East.

John's Opinion
···
01/09/2020
President Trump took out a bad guy who needed to be eliminated. I trust the administration and our military intelligence far more than the House of Representatives and the left members who do nothing but hinder progress.
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JTJ's Opinion
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01/09/2020
The democrats are risking our security for their Trump hate. They weren’t concerned with this when Obama ordered military strikes.
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ManfromNebraska's Opinion
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01/09/2020
Absolutely not this part of the president’s job. If it gets into a major war then Congress can get involved. This is just more democrat obstruction.
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concurrent resolution Progress


  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed January 9th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 224 Yea / 194 Nay
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2020

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What is House Bill H. Con. Res. 83?

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.

Impact

The U.S. military; Iran; Congress; and the president.

Cost of House Bill H. Con. Res. 83

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) introduced this resolution to require President Trump to seek congressional authorization before taking the U.S. into a protracted war with Iran:

“This resolution is intended to make clear that, if the President wants to take us to war, he must get authorization from Congress. This is simply what our Constitution requires. If our loved ones are going to be sent to fight in any protracted war, the President owes the American people a public conversation about why and for what ends. The resolution I am introducing today is intended to have that debate, as our Founders intended, and to be clear with the public on whether their body has authorized a war with Iran. As members of Congress, we have a constitutional responsibility to uphold when it comes to authorizing the use of military force.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) added in a dear colleague letter in support of this resolution that “the Trump Administration conducted a provocative and disproportionate military airstrike targeting high-level Iranian military officials” and “endangered our servicemembers, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran.”

In his remarks to the nation following the strike that killed Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani, President Donald Trump said the following:

“Under my leadership, America’s policy is unambiguous: To terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American, we will find you; we will eliminate you. We will always protect our diplomats, servicemembers, all Americans, and our allies. For years, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its ruthless Quds Force — under Soleimani’s leadership — has targeted, injured, and murdered hundreds of American civilians and servicemen. The recent attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four American servicemen very badly, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in Baghdad, were carried out at the direction of Soleimani… Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years. What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved. Just recently, Soleimani led the brutal repression of protestors in Iran, where more than a thousand innocent civilians were tortured and killed by their own government. We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.”

Because this legislation is a concurrent resolution that couldn’t reach the president’s desk, as opposed to a joint resolution that would, it wouldn’t be considered binding or pass constitutional scrutiny based on a past Supreme Court ruling. In INS v. Chadha (1983), the Supreme Court ruled that a legislative veto through a one-House simple resolution or a two-chamber concurrent resolution under the Immigration and Nationality Act were unconstitutional. In 1994, the House voted on a concurrent resolution under the War Powers Resolution to withdraw U.S. forces from Somalia, but both the resolution’s sponsor & the Speaker of the House expressed the view that because of the Chadha ruling, the resolution would be non-binding.

This legislation has the support of 134 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats. The lack of Republican support makes its consideration in the Senate highly unlikely.


Of NoteIranian General Qassem Soleimani was the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, which functions as a combination of an external intelligence agency and special operations unit. The Quds Force itself is considered a terror organization by the U.S., and supports several terror groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas & the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza & the West Bank, the Houthis in Yemen, and Shia militias in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The Quds Forces’ activities in Iraq contributed to the deaths of more than 600 American military personnel and the wounding of thousands more in Iraq. Soleimani, along with a senior leader of an Iraqi Shia militia sponsored by Iran, was killed by a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad in January 2020.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / DigtialStorm)

AKA

Directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran.

Official Title

Directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran.

    Congress has the sole right to declare war according to the Constitution.
    Like (241)
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    President Trump took out a bad guy who needed to be eliminated. I trust the administration and our military intelligence far more than the House of Representatives and the left members who do nothing but hinder progress.
    Like (108)
    Follow
    Share
    Any action has consequences that must be considered and carefully planned for. Just because an action is legal, just because an action is righteous, just because an action is expedient does not mean that it should be taken or even permitted to be taken if the consequences of that action can result in undermining our geopolitical interests, exposing our country to undue risk, or risk attainment of major American goals. The Soleimani strike conducted where, when and how is was conducted, was impulsive and frankly stupid. The easily foreseen consequences are a newly-unified Iranian people in their hatred of American imperialism, who days before were openly questioning their own governance in a way that would have resulted in the concessions that trump has wanted. The Iraqi’s voted to have Americans removed from their country. Our NATO allies are pissed because they were not given prior notification of the strike. Our allies are at increased risks from an Iranian theocracy re-engaging in nuclear armaments with the newfound support of their populace. Our allies are in immediate jeopardy of retaliatory strikes on their homelands where American military interests are housed. trump was presented a list of possible re-actions to take in response to the storming of our US embassy in Iraq, and he chose the most severe on the list, the Soleimani strike without considering the consequences. In his typical shoot first, then rationalize and defend his decision after the fact approach- he claimed Soleimani was planning near term major attacks, something that our intelligence agencies did not seem to know about beforehand, having stated immediately after, that there was no heightened chatter or indications of any immanent threat. In testimony to Congress even trump’s enablers in the trumpublican party were outraged when they were told, ‘just trust us- we need a show of unity’, apparently because they could not justify trump’s claims. Iran showed remarkable restraint in it’s rocket attacks, apparently targeting areas that would not risk American lives and leaking details that gave our troop’s hours notice to get to cover- I would bet this was done so that trump could not claim that this was the immanent threat that he, after the fact, tried to claim was the rationale for authorizing Soleimani’s execution. I do not think this is over. Congress needs to re-assert it’s legal ability to authorize military actions with significant geopolitical risks. Our Congressional committees must be notified before the Israeli government or fellow golfers at Mara LOCO; I would think that better options would have been taken. Just a reminder, neither trump nor any president is ever elected to ‘run’ our country- they are elected to ‘represent’ the people of this country, whose collective needs and desires are represented by the House primarily and the Senate to assure States rights are considered. Trump is becoming increasingly unstable, controls are needed. He should be removed from office because he is needlessly endangering us all.
    Like (198)
    Follow
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    Starting wars is not up to the President; it's up to Congress. The Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) from 2001 was meant to pursue the terrorists of 9/11, not for expanding military actions throughout the Middle East and against any country or group suspected of terrorism. Congress has ceded way too much power to the presidency in the past 20 years and it has to stop: we don't want a dictator or king. It's time to revoke the AUMF and write new laws around starting war. America cannot afford another war and we cannot continue to pursue military action for any reason chosen by any president.
    Like (167)
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    No war without congressional approval!
    Like (84)
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    No war with Iran. Trump has chosen to escalate the tension and now we’re closer to war with Iran than we’ve been in 40 years. So, rein him in....
    Like (82)
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    Congress should decide when war is to be waged (and should decide not to go to war at Donald Trump's ignorant whim).
    Like (70)
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    The democrats are risking our security for their Trump hate. They weren’t concerned with this when Obama ordered military strikes.
    Like (65)
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    You better vote to block military force! You three, Cornyn, Cruz and Flores are spineless pansies. You refuse to stand up to the madman who is hated all over the world by the way. You three only care about lining those deep pockets! Jerk trumps chain and make him sit and shut up! I can’t wait until the election to vote Cornyn out! Thank heavens Flores is not running again. Cruz we will get you out next time your seat is up!
    Like (57)
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    Absolutely not this part of the president’s job. If it gets into a major war then Congress can get involved. This is just more democrat obstruction.
    Like (54)
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    This inept president should have congressional approval to go to the bathroom
    Like (40)
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    Democrats should not be making any rules about anything as corrupt as they are. Winning 2020
    Like (37)
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    All power should be taken away from Trump!
    Like (36)
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    Yes, Congress should try to derail military action against Iran, at this moment. However, doing so in non-binding legislation, leaves our corrupt, incompetent president to do what he wants. Instead, back Sanders’ & Khanni’s legislation that cuts off spending for a war against Iran...or better yet, hold the Senate Impeachment with full disclosure & testimony & remove this incompetence from office!
    Like (35)
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    This is a waste of time. The bill won’t do anything for stop trump from doing anything. Whether we like it or not he’s going to do whatever he wants. Just because we don’t like the current president doesn’t mean it’s time to start changing precedents that has been a solid check and balance for years. If you want a change to happen show up to the vote in November. This is not the way.
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    Fun fact: Congress castigated Bush for not “connecting the dots” that led to 9/11. Now Trump does exactly that (in Iraq, not Iran...show me a target in Iran that has been hit) and the reverse is true. Congress was displeased with the after-the-fact briefing because they weren’t told everything they wanted to hear? Congress is a leaky sieve, each fighting to be the first to reveal their special knowledge, NDAs or not. The staffers and aides are worse. Congress didn’t want war. We didn’t get into a war. But they can’t backpedal their criticism of Trump, so they revert to “well he got us into this mess so he’s still terrible.”
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    “Lawful” doesn’t mean “measured” “prudent” “well thought out” and frankly, it wasn’t even “lawful”. It was a extrajudicial assassination. Or do we think it would be okay if Macron decided to bomb General Vance, entourage, and escorts outside of DCA? Hmm? No? We wouldn’t be okay with that. PS If you don’t know, General Jon Vance is Canada’s Chief of Defense. Same position as Mattis before Mattis gave the middle finger to PIT-45 and retired.
    Like (29)
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    This is America! We have a President for a reason! Congress is unreliable and slow! The American people do not have time nor have ever wanted a King/Queen puppet figurehead at the helm!!! We need someone who will make split decisions to protect and guide this country!!!
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    Do your sworn duty and uphold the Constitution! Only Congress has the right to declare war.
    Like (28)
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    If it’s unjustified and implemented by the #45 fascist regime then definitely yes!!!
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