House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday sent a letter to Democratic members of Congress announcing the House will introduce and vote on a “War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran” amid rising tension.
The resolution, Pelosi writes, “reasserts Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days.”
The letter comes as the US is deploying thousands of additional troops to the Middle East following the airstrike that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani. Earlier Sunday, President Donald Trump reiterated his threat to target Iranian cultural sites.
“Last week, the Trump Administration conducted a provocative and disproportionate military airstrike targeting high-level Iranian military officials. This action endangered our servicemembers, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran,” Pelosi writes.
Pelosi said the resolution would be led by Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, who previously worked for the CIA and was an analyst for the Defense Department specializing in Shia militias.
“As Members of Congress, our first responsibility is to keep the American people safe. For this reason, we are concerned that the Administration took this action without the consultation of Congress and without respect for Congress’s war powers granted to it by the Constitution.”
Pelosi said the resolution will be similar to the War Powers Authorization Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine filed in the Senate that would require any hostilities with Iran to be approved by Congress through a declaration of war or new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) – a “privileged” resolution that he can force a debate and vote on, though it’s not clear when that might happen.
“I greatly appreciate the solemnity with which all of our Members are working to honor our responsibility to protect American lives and values,” Pelosi wrote in concluding her letter. “Thank you for your patriotic leadership during this difficult time.”