On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the War Powers Resolution on a vote of 224-194. Nearly all Democrats voted in favor and nearly all Republicans voted against. The resolution would direct President Donald Trump to end military involvement against Iran one week after the administration assassinated Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
The War Powers Act of 1973 was intended to prevent a lengthy conflict like the Vietnam War by requiring congressional notification for troop deployments and limiting how long presidents can engage the U.S. military without congressional approval. Presidents have tended to ignore the mandates of the law or deem it unconstitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court has never decided on the matter.
All four of Colorado’s House Democrats voted with the majority, and the three Republicans voted with the minority. Here are their statements:
"I just voted to rein in Trump’s ability to further engage Iran without Congress's consent. The president’s decision to kill a top Iranian general was reckless and irresponsible. It has brought us to the brink of war, which no one wants. We must deescalate tensions immediately." — U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette
"The American people don’t support war with Iran. We must:
"-Repeal 2001/2002 [Authorizations for Use of Military Force];
"-Pass U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna's measure to prohibit funding for unauthorized military action in Iran; &
"I do not support Nancy Pelosi’s PR campaign to undermine President Trump’s every action. This non-binding statement is her latest example of her caucus’ incessant quibbling with this administration, this time an attempt to hinder efforts to protect Americans from active threats. Congress must maintain oversight of ongoing wars and future military action, but I understand the urgency an administration must have to strike quickly when a small window of opportunity presents itself." — U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton
“I voted against the Democrats' show vote on a War Powers concurrent resolution. The resolution manipulates the original intent of the resolution while putting American lives in jeopardy. As a founding member of the War Powers Caucus, I wholeheartedly believe our Constitution establishes a separation of powers for a reason, and that includes the authorization for declaring war. President Trump took defensive measures to protect American men and women with the takedown of Soleimani. If the president intends to maintain a long-term aggressive posture towards Iran, he needs to come to Congress for authorization." — U.S. Rep. Ken Buck
"This dangerous resolution is rooted in cynical partisan politics rather than what's best for American national security. It is nothing more than a messaging ploy by the progressive wing of the House Democrats — it's a toothless resolution. The problem for them is that this cheap political stunt has been completely overcome by events — President Trump's decision has successfully restored deterrence for now .... This meaningless and disgraceful resolution does nothing but gives comfort and aid to Iran's leadership. We cannot tie the president's hands when he must act quickly and appropriately to defend our nation." — U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn
"Do not believe the fear-mongering. This resolution does nothing to prevent the President from protecting the nation against imminent threats. I have spent years fighting to keep Americans safe and will continue to do so. I may have laid down my rifle, but my oath to this country endures. I will fight to ensure that we are having a discussion about when to send our men and women, our sons and daughters, our sisters and brothers, into harm’s way. It’s time to have this debate. — U.S. Rep. Jason Crow
"I voted to support the War Powers Resolution today because I believe we need to do everything we can to de-escalate tensions with Iran and a new [Authorization for Use of Military Force] must be approved before the U.S. engages in any further hostilities against Iran." — U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter