With House Passage of Bipartisan War Powers Resolution, Congress Tells Trump: No Unauthorized War of Choice With Iran

March 11, 2020

J Street commends the House of Representatives’ passage of a war powers resolution, previously passed by the Senate, which seeks to prevent the president from carrying out a disastrous war of choice with Iran without congressional authorization. By passing this resolution, bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress have now acted to restrain a reckless administration and to assert their constitutional authority to decide whether, when and where our country goes to war.

This bill will now go to President Trump’s desk. If he vetoes it as expected, he will only be demonstrating his contempt for the vital checks and balances included in our Constitution. Yet no matter what he chooses to do, the message that has been sent by Congress is now very clear.

The cycle of escalatory violence in recent months has demonstrated that President Trump’s decision to unilaterally violate the JCPOA nuclear agreement, implement a ‘maximum pressure’ campaign and assassinate a senior Iranian commander has only strengthened Iranian hardliners, further destabilized the region, endangered our ally Israel and brought us closer than ever to war. Just today, reports that two American servicepeople were killed in an attack in Iraq underscored how dangerous the present situation is — and how the risk of further escalation in the region remains high.

The fact that congressional leaders have now stepped up to check the administration’s actions is extremely encouraging, and represents a major victory for all those who believe that our country’s foreign policy should be rooted in pragmatism, diplomacy and multilateralism, rather than near-automatic and frequent resort to military force and confrontation.

Representing the views of a large majority of the American Jewish community, J Street will continue to stand alongside our pro-peace partners to rally further support for diplomacy and firm opposition to war with Iran.

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