House Sends Clear Message: Trump Not Authorized to Use Military Force Against Iran

May 24, 2018

J Street welcomes the House of Representatives’ unanimous, bipartisan adoption of an amendment to the 2018-2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which unequivocally states that the use of military force against Iran is not currently authorized by any act of Congress.

By explicitly stating that the administration does not now have congressional authorization for initiating military action against Iran, the House has set a clear marker at a vital time. In the wake of his violation and abandonment of the Iran nuclear agreement, the President and his ‘war cabinet’ are ratcheting up tensions and pushing our country down the path to another conflict in the Middle East. In the face of such a potential disaster it is vital that Congress speak out as they have today.

Since the president’s decision to abrogate the deal, and again following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s issuing of ultimatums to Iran earlier this week, J Street has called on Congress to live up to its constitutional responsibility to act as a check on the president — and to restrain his ability to plunge our country into another costly and bloody war. The unanimous acceptance of this amendment — introduced by Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) — is a necessary and welcome step in that direction.

As the NDAA advances through the legislative process, we urge the Senate to follow the lead of the House in adopting such language. Lawmakers from both chambers must act boldly and firmly, before it is too late.