Texas Democrats back resolution to curtail President Trump’s war powers concerning Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a statement about Iran at the White House in Washington D.C. on January 8, 2020.
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a statement about Iran at the White House in Washington D.C. on January 8, 2020.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON – Like practically everything else in the Trump era, the Texas delegation in the U.S. House broke along party lines in a rebuke of President Donald Trump’s handling of the conflict with Iran.

The U.S. House passed on Thursday a resolution aimed at curtailing Trump’s powers to engage with Iran, in the aftermath of his order to kill a high-ranking Iranian official and the Iranian response that included sending rockets to bases housing American soldiers in Iraq. No Americans were killed in that response, according to administration officials.

The resolution directs Trump to end military engagement with Iran unless Congress has authorized the use of force or if there is an imminent attack on the United States. It is unclear whether the Senate will take up the measure. A similar Democratic-sponsored resolution is already in the works in that chamber.

A number of Texas Democrats signed up as cosponsors to the resolution: U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, Veronica Escobar of El Paso, Sylvia R. Garcia of Houston, Al Green of Houston, Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Dallas.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a Thursday news conference the resolution is “non-binding,” meaning it will not go to Trump for an all-but-certain veto. How much legal heft this tactic carried was a subject of partisan debate throughout the day.

Momentum for this measure picked up on Wednesday, after administration officials briefed members of Congress. Democrats from both chambers — and a pair of Republican senators — emerged from the briefings speaking in highly critical language toward the Trump administration.

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