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House Votes to Prevent Trump From Entering Unauthorized War With Iran, Setting Up Showdown With Senate
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=31831"><span class="small">Karoun Demirjian, The Washington Post</span></a>   
Friday, 12 July 2019 12:34

Demirjian writes: "The House voted Friday to prevent President Trump from launching into war with Iran without getting Congress' approval first, after more than two dozen Republicans joined Democrats to include the provision in the House's annual defense authorization bill."

A fighter jet on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea last month. The aircraft carrier was sent to the region amidst escalating tensions with Iran. (photo: Jon Gambrell/AP)
A fighter jet on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea last month. The aircraft carrier was sent to the region amidst escalating tensions with Iran. (photo: Jon Gambrell/AP)


House Votes to Prevent Trump From Entering Unauthorized War With Iran, Setting Up Showdown With Senate

By Karoun Demirjian, The Washington Post

12 July 19

 

he House voted Friday to prevent President Trump from launching into war with Iran without getting Congress’ approval first, after more than two dozen Republicans joined Democrats to include the provision in the House’s annual defense authorization bill.

The move sets up a likely showdown with the Senate over whether the Iran restriction, which includes an exception for cases of self-defense, will be included in the final bill negotiated between the two chambers. Republican leaders in the House and Senate have argued that the language would send a bad message to Tehran that the United States is divided, complicating the president’s ability to manage escalating tensions.

The Iran amendment is just one of several high-profile measures that lawmakers voted this week to include in the first defense authorization bill Democrats have steered through the House since taking over the majority earlier this year. Those measures, which range from ending U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen to undoing President Trump’s ban on transgender troops, helped secure the support of liberal Democrats from the congressional Progressive Caucus, who had previously warned that they might vote against the defense bill.

But those measures risked losing Democrats what waning Republican support existed for the House’s defense bill. Republican leaders have accused Democrats of playing politics in a way that is “shameful,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Friday morning.

“Our national security is not a game. But that is exactly how Democrats are treating it,” McCarthy said of the bill.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), visibly riled at the charge, retorted that Republicans “can opposite it, that’s fine, but to say we don’t care about national security . . . is a baldfaced lie.”

“In fact, our bill isn’t just good, it’s better than the ones that the Republican Party has put together, because we believe the Pentagon should be accountable,” Smith continued.

At the heart of the dispute between Republicans and Democrats is a disagreement over how much money Congress should allocate to the Pentagon and military this year. Republicans and the Trump administration want a $750 billion bill, which is the overall size of the defense authorization bill that the Senate passed last month. But the House’s bill clocks in at $733 billion — a figure that Smith argued military leaders endorsed previously.

For liberal Democrats, $733 billion was too steep a jump over the current fiscal year’s $717 billion authorization. In an effort to level out spending, they proposed a $16.8 billion reduction to the war funding authorized under the bill, but the effort failed to pass the House Friday morning, after Republicans and many Democrats opposed it.

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+3 # tedrey 2019-07-12 23:25
Actually our "national security" demands a far lower military budget than even liberal democrats call for. The grotesquely obese yearly military budget has created a body politic too muscle-heavy to maintain any healthy activity. America is suffocating in unwanted military fat. But the MIC keeps staggering around soiling the planet and shouting out "You're starving us!"
 
 
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-13 06:41
"Republican leaders in the House and Senate have argued that the language would send a bad message to Tehran that the United States is divided, complicating the president’s ability to manage escalating tensions."


At some point these military spending bills need to be a blunt message to the nation and to the world -- the Global War of Terror is over. The American people will no longer pay for it. If the Pentagon and its for-profit contractors want to pay for it with their own money, then they can. But the US and its elected representatives who are responsible to the people are finished with the senseless and criminal wars. The signal needs to be sent to Iran that the US is not interested in war.

Starting any kind of war against Iran is an impeachable offense. It violates international treaties and laws. It is the worst kind of "high crimes and misdemeanors." Why is the "get Trump" crowd not pushing war as an impeachment cause. I would certainly support that.
 
 
+4 # elizabethblock 2019-07-13 06:56
Glory be - the House is finally, at last, doing its job.

As for self-defence - sure, if Iran attacks the United States, an event the likelihood of which is infinitesimal to nil.
And do you know when Iran last invaded another country? Two and a half centuries ago. When did the United States last invade another country? Silly question.
 
 
+1 # DongiC 2019-07-14 02:00
Come on folks! The economy needs the big defense bill too. That's how we keep the prosperity wheel turning. Think of all the jobs that this gargantuan expenditure creates. Why our defense budget is larger than the next fourteen countries combined.

On the other hand we don't get much of a long term pay off from all this military spending. Repairing the infrastructure is a much better idea or investing in our children's intellectual future. These provide a far better return. Of course, then, the MIC would be most unhappy.

But, the situation won't change much. The MIC has invested too much money in buying off Congressmen. That's what campaign donations are all about and that's why we need professional lobbyists: to make sure all the financial arrangements go smoothly between legislators and corporations. It is called the American way.