District 27 Congressman Michael Cloud voted against the War Powers Resolution as the House of Representatives sent a message to President Donald Trump over his use of military power in the Middle East.
Cloud called the resolution “a reactionary effort” by Democrats in the House.
“Yesterday I was talking with Republicans, and today I was working with Democrats towards solutions, so I can tell you there’s a bipartisan effort in Congress to address constitutional war powers authority, but this resolution is simply a reactionary effort by Speaker Pelosi to criticize the president’s proper and decisive actions against Soleimani in response to Iranian aggression against American troops and assets, including our embassy,” Cloud said. “President Trump rightfully took out a dangerous terrorist in response to the threat against innocent American lives. He was justified in responding to an imminent threat.
“Many of us on both sides of the aisle have been begging for a real discussion on war powers for many months,” Cloud said. “The current Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) need to be revisited, and a new AUMF needs to be considered.”
The House of Representatives approving a measure, relating to the War Powers Resolution of 1983, to restrict his authority to strike Iran without congressional approval.
The resolution passed by a vote of 224 to 194 and now goes to the Senate.
Eight Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the resolution, while three Republicans voted in favor.
The bill is a “concurrent resolution” and needs approval of both chambers of Congress and will not go to the president for his signature. Many believe the bill is non-binding and just a symbolic move by Democrats in the House.
Democrat Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin sponsored the resolution more than a week after Trump authorized a strike to kill Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top military leader.
Members of Congress expressed outrage that Trump failed to consult Congress in advance of the strike and saw it as an overreach of executive power.
The resolution “directions the President to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran or any part of its government or military” unless Congress has declared war or specifically authorized engaging in hostilities or if such use of Armed Forces is necessary and appropriate to defend against an imminent armed attack upon the United States.”
The War Powers Resolution (also known as the War Powers Resolution of 1973 or the War Powers Act) (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548) is a federal law intended to check the U.S. president’s power to commit the United States to an armed conflict without the consent of the U.S. Congress.
The resolution was adopted in the form of a United States congressional joint resolution. It provides that the president can send the U.S. Armed Forces into action abroad only by declaration of war by Congress, “statutory authorization,” or in case of “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”
The War Powers Resolution requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30-day withdrawal period, without a congressional authorization for use of military force (AUMF) or a declaration of war by the United States.
The resolution was passed by two-thirds each of the House and Senate, overriding the veto of the bill by President Richard Nixon.
It has been alleged that the War Powers Resolution has been violated in the past by President Bill Clinton in 1999, during the bombing campaign in Kosovo.
Congress has disapproved all such incidents, but none has resulted in any successful legal actions being taken against the president for alleged violations.