Barbara Lee

House votes to curb Trump's power to attack Iran
11 Republicans join Democrats to limit presidential actions

Rep. Barbara Lee sponsored the amendment to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday passed, on bipartisan votes, two related measures designed to prevent President Donald Trump from launching military attacks on Iran.

The two votes were the latest sign of lawmakers’ growing willingness in recent years to exercise their war powers muscles after decades of disuse.

Ahead of House Iran war votes, Trump sends mixed messages
Despite veto threats, president urges lawmakers to vote their conscience on 2002 AUMF repeal

Anti-war demonstrators attend a rally outside the White House on Jan. 25. The action also took place in 153 cities in 20 countries for the Global Day of Protest. (Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images file photo)

As the House prepares to vote Thursday on two measures that would constrain President Donald Trump’s ability to launch attacks on Iran, the White House sent out mixed messages about how it wants lawmakers to vote.

The House will debate and vote on two measures that take different approaches to limiting the Trump administration’s military options when it comes to Tehran, which remains outraged at the United States for the early January U.S. drone strike in Iraq that killed Iran’s most powerful general, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Senate could vote to curb Trump war powers, but timing unclear
Bipartisan version of resolution would require immediate cessation of attacks on Iran

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks to the media following the Senate Democrats’ policy lunch on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Tim Kaine has lined up the votes to adopt a resolution to restrict President Donald Trump’s ability to attack Iran, though a vote on the matter this week would fall short absent a procedural agreement with Republican leadership.

The Virginia Democrat announced Tuesday he received support from at least four GOP senators for using the 1973 War Powers Act to adopt a binding resolution ordering the Trump administration to immediately end all unauthorized military hostilities against Iran and its government. Those senators are Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Todd Young of Indiana.

House to vote on military force authorizations this month
Progressive Democrats want votes on language removed from defense bill

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., center, and other Democratic leaders have promised votes on war powers and authorizations before the end of the month. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders committed to progressives Tuesday that the House will vote on legislation to prevent funds for unauthorized military force against Iran and to repeal the 2002 authorization of use of military force the week of Jan. 27.

The bills, sponsored by California Reps. Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee, respectively, will get separate votes, according to Khanna and Progressive Caucus co-chair Pramila Jayapal.

Road Ahead: Impeachment trial imminent and war powers debate continues
Pelosi ready to send articles to Senate this week

Speaker Nancy Pelosi conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Impeachment action is bound for the Senate this week, ending the long standoff between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the framework of President Donald Trump’s trial. Pelosi intends to send the House’s articles of impeachment to the Senate and name impeachment managers, launching a trial that could begin before the week is out.

The impeachment articles, which the House approved in December, charge the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Pelosi wants new AUMF but says ‘it’s harder than you would think’
Speaker describes questions for debating new AUMF but does not commit to vote

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday, January 9, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she wants Congress to pass a new authorization for use of military force, or AUMF, to cover all conflicts the U.S. is currently fighting in the Middle East but she did not commit to drafting or holding a vote on such a measure. 

“It’s harder than you would think,” the California Democrat said during her weekly press conference. 

Sanders says he wouldn’t pull troops from Iraq via tweet
Vermont senator unveils effort to block war with Iran

From left, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., participate in a press conference in the Capitol to unveil the No War Against Iran Act on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont wants U.S. troops home from Iraq. But in a clear jab at President Donald Trump’s foreign policy approach, he said he wouldn’t do it with a tweet.

Sanders’ appearance at a press conference Thursday to push legislation blocking war with Iran is the latest indicator that the impeachment trial isn’t the only thing that can lure Democratic presidential hopefuls off the campaign trail and back to the Senate.

Republicans come out against Iran language they previously supported
Many House members who supported amendments on War Powers now opposed

Language from Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., on authorizing military force that Republicans previously supported is unlikely to have that same kind of support as the GOP shifts its stance since the recent hostilities with Iran. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In July, 27 Republicans voted for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to effectively prohibit the president from using military force against Iran without congressional approval. As the House readies to vote on a similar measure Thursday, few, if any, Republicans are likely to support it.

U.S. tension with Iran has escalated since July, resulting in recent attacks from both sides. President Donald Trump’s decision to kill Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani has drawn praise from Republicans who believe the administration line about the Quds Force commander and criticism from Democrats who say the intelligence does not support that claim.

House to vote on war powers Thursday
Two Senate Republicans side with Democratic measure after ‘insulting’ briefing

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrives at the Capitol Visitor Center for a briefing by administration officials for members of the House on the latest developments on Iranian airstrikes in Iraq on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Corrected 7:53 p.m. | The House will vote Thursday on a resolution that would limit President Donald Trump’s authority to take future military action against Iran without congressional authorization, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday.

House lawmakers received a briefing from key administration officials following the Tuesday night attack on two bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops and the preceding U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Road ahead: House to debate Iran war powers as impeachment articles hold continues
Senate moving ahead with regular business while awaiting impeachment articles to start trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell heads to a briefing with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Capitol on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers hope a partisan dispute over Senate trial procedures for considering the House’s impeachment charges against President Donald Trump will be resolved this week. But a solution to the impasse could be complicated by another fight brewing in Congress over whether to restrain Trump’s ability to go to war with Iran.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding the impeachment articles in the House in an effort to force Senate Republicans to agree to Democrats’ demands for certain witnesses and documents to be subpoenaed in the trial. The California Democrat has yet to indicate when she would transmit the articles to the Senate or lay out explicit conditions under which she would do so.