Nancy Pelosi says House will vote to limit Trump’s war powers on Iran as tensions grow

WASHINGTON – On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House of Representatives will vote this week on legislation to limit President Donald Trump’s military actions on Iran in the wake of increased tensions between the two countries after Trump ordered an airstrike killing top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani last Thursday.

In a letter to Democratic members of the House, Pelosi said the “provocative and disproportionate” airstrike on Soleimani “endangered our service members, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran.”

Pelosi thanked lawmakers for their “patriotic leadership” during the tense period. The resolution, which Pelosi said will be introduced and voted on this week, will mandate that military hostilities with Iran cease within 30 days unless further congressional authorization like a declaration of war is taken.  Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., has introduced a similar resolution in the Senate. Pelosi’s promise to deliberate and vote on the war powers legislation comes as Congress returns from its holiday recess on Monday and could alter the politics around Trump’s impeachment.

The House voted to impeach Trump on Dec. 18 but has declined to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate in a bid to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to adopt trial procedures Democrats consider bipartisan.

Senate Democrats and Republicans have deadlocked in negotiations over the format of a trial. According to Pelosi, freshman Michigan Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin will lead the resolution. Slotkin is from a swing district outside Detroit and is a former analyst for the Department of Defense and CIA.

Slotkin has been critical of the Trump administration’s actions in the Middle East, and in a series of tweets on Friday, she said that the Democratic and Republican administrations she served under made the calculation that targeting Soleimani posed too great a risk to American diplomats and service members. The two administrations I worked for both determined that the ultimate ends didn’t justify the means. The Trump Administration has made a different calculation.

The Iranian government has vowed to retaliate and avenge Soleimani’s death, and could do so in any number of ways.

On Sunday, the Iraqi Parliament voted to expel American soldiers from the country, drawing a threat of sanctions from Trump. Trump also reiterated his threat to target Iranian cultural sites if Iran takes military action against U.S. forces. Iran also abandoned its remaining commitments to a nuclear deal between it and world powers that the United States left in May 2018.
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