US Congress restrains Trump from going to war against Iran

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WASHINGTON: The US Congress has restrained President Donald Trump from going to war against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

The resolution was introduced by Democrats after Trump's order to kill an Iranian commander and retaliatory missile strikes by 224 votes against 194, an NDTV report said.

Three members of Trump's Republican Party joined Democrats in approving the measure demanding the president not engage in military action against Iran unless authorized by Congress.

Among them was Matt Gaetz, one of Trump's staunchest supporters in Congress who noted in a floor speech that the measure did not criticize Trump, but said that "engaging in another forever war in the Middle East would be the wrong decision."

"If the members of our armed services have the courage to go and fight and die in these wars, as Congress we ought to have the courage to vote for them or against them," Gaetz said.

Trump insisted he needs no one's blessing to launch attacks, essentially scorning existing legal requirements for consulting with Congress.

"I don't have to," Trump said when asked whether he would seek congressional approval for more military action against Iran.

"And you shouldn't have to," he added, "because you have to make split-second decisions sometimes."

However, Trump signaled Wednesday he was stepping back from the brink of war with Iran after a US drone strike that killed commander Qasem Soleimani was followed by Iranian missile volleys against bases housing American forces in Iraq, the NDTV report said.

Democrats have introduced a similar war powers resolution in the Senate, where with 53 members the Republicans hold the majority. The strength of the Democrats in the Senate is 47.

Two Senate Republicans, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, announced support for the Senate version, suggesting the vote, as early as next week, could be razor-thin.

Image Credit: The Wall Street Journal

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