Democrats Pass Bill to Block Trump Engaging in War Without Their Permission
House Dems repeal 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force as tensions mount with Iran
House Democrats have passed an appropriations bill that would block President Donald Trump from engaging in war without gaining their permission first.
The bill includes a measure that would stop President Trump from using the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force to engage in war with Iran as tensions continue to rise between Washington DC and Tehran.
The 11-line measure would repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force that was passed three weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The cause is bundled in as part of a $1 trillion appropriations bill that includes funding for the military, the Energy Department, and health programs.
Despite passing the Democrat-held House, the bill will likely be struck down in the GOP-controlled Senate.
It's likely that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would not send the version of this bill to the president's desk – especially since it takes away power from the White House.
According to the Daily Mail, the Trump administration has signaled it would use the war authority to take military action against Iran, especially after two attacks in the Gulf of Oman on Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers last week that the US intelligence community has confirmed was carried out by the Middle Eastern nation.
Iran also announced earlier this week that within 10 days it would breach the limit of enriched uranium set by the nuclear deal in 2015, another signal of rising tensions between Washington and Tehran.
The AUMF was passed in 2001, three weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and gives the president authority to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against "nations, organizations, or persons" involved in the attacks, and anyone who "harbored" those people.
National Security Adviser John Bolton, who is hawkish on US involvement in foreign affairs, said on Monday that Congress would be making "a big mistake if they doubted the president's resolve on this."
The war authorization was passed unanimously, who only one lawmaker in the House voting against it, to "prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States," but it was likely not predicted at the time that it would be used 18 years later to justify military action.
The authority has been used now by three different presidents to engage in dozens of military engagements, but the added provision by Democrats in the appropriations bill would repeal the 2001 AUMF eight months after the legislation was enacted.
It may never get to that point though, as Democrats seriously doubt they would go as far as shutting down the government over this measure if Republicans in the Senate struck it down.
"We are not the party of shutdowns," Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin told the Huffington Post this week.
"That is not our position."
At the end of December 2018, however, both Democrats and Republicans allowed the government to go into its longest shut down in U.S. history when neither side would budge over funding for Trump's desired border wall.
The 35-day shut down commenced when Nancy Pelosi, who became Speaker in January 2019 when Democrats took back the House, refused to give into Trump's demands for border barrier funding in a federal spending bill.
The shut down finally ended when Republican conceded and Trump secured funds instead by declaring a national emergency at the southern border.