Democrats and Republicans cross party lines in contentious vote to limit Trump's war powers against Iran
In the wake of an increasingly tense conflict between the United States and Iran, the House of Representatives voted Thursday night to pass a war powers resolution limiting President Donald Trump's ability to wage military action against Iran.
While most Democrats voted for the measure and most Republicans opposed it in the 224-194 vote, there were significant defections. Three Republicans voted against the resolution, while eight Democrats opposed it. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a former Republican who became an independent after breaking with the GOP over impeaching Trump, also voted in support of the measure.
Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL), Francis Rooney (FL), and Thomas Massie (KY) opposed the measure. Gaetz's vote to limit the president's war powers was the most surprising, given his typically unabashed enthusiasm for Trump. But Gaetz has broken with Trump on foreign policy before. He joined a bipartisan letter from lawmakers asking the president to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen.
A group of moderate Democrats, on the other hand, opposed the measure, including Reps. Max Rose (NY), Joe Cunningham (KY), Ben McAdams (UT), Anthony Brindisi (NY), Elaine Luria (VA), Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Kendra Horn (OK), and Stephanie Murphy (FL). They all come from vulnerable swing districts.
The Senate has a related measure put forward by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), which has already garnered the support of Republican Sens. Rand Paul (KY) and Mike Lee (UT). The concurrent resolutions are not like typical laws, because they would not go to the president's desk for either a signature or veto. Democrats argued, nevertheless, that the War Powers Act gives Congress the power to pass such resolutions; however, Republicans argue that the measure doesn't have the force of law.