One of the measures would block funding for any use of offensive military force in or against Iran without congressional approval. It passed 228-175.
The other would repeal the 2002 resolution that authorized military force against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq and has since been invoked by successive presidents pursuing fights against new enemies. It passed 236-166, according to CNBC.
Tensions between the US and Iran are still high following the US assassination of Iran’s Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani on January 3. That assassination prompted the Iranians to retaliate with missile attacks on US forces in Iraq. The Defense Department said on Thursday that 64 troops had sustained traumatic brain injuries after Iran’s missile strikes on Ain al-Asad Air Base.
Democrats, wary of getting bogged down in a new Middle East conflict, have sought to require Trump to seek authorization for future uses of military force.
Trump has threatened to veto both measures, though on Wednesday he took to Twitter to urge members of both parties to “vote their HEART.”
The first measure passed on Thursday, sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., would block the Trump administration from using any federal funds for military force in Iran unless Congress first declares war. Presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a companion resolution in the Senate.
Khanna, alongside Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., had proposed a similar amendment to the annual must-pass defense spending bill, but it was not included in the final version that Congress approved late last year.
“The American government has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars fighting endless wars across the Middle East,” Khanna said in a statement after his measure passed. “Today, Congress passed two historic pieces of legislation to reassert our authority over matters of war and peace.”
The second measure, to repeal the 2002 Iraq war authorization, was led by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and co-sponsored by 131 Democrats, two Republicans and the independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.