Reps. Ilhan Omar and Barbara Lee Announce War Powers Resolution To Prevent War With Iran

January 5, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Barbara Lee today announced a War Powers Resolution in the United States House of Representatives to direct the removal of the United States Armed Forces from hostilities against Iran that have not been authorized by Congress. The resolution is a companion to a War Powers Resolution authored by Sen. Tim Kaine in the Senate.

“‪Let’s not mince words: the assassination of Qasem Soleimani was an act of war undertaken without Congressional authorization, in violation of the Constitution of the United States of America. Following the assassination, thousands of additional troops were sent to the Middle East in one of the largest rapid deployments seen in decades. This follows years of saber-rattling and threats of war against Iran by President Trump and his accomplices. We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty—and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war. ” Rep. Omar said.

“For far too long, Congress has been missing in action on matters of war and peace,” said Rep. Lee. “Make no mistake: the assassination of Qasem Soleimani places us on the brink of war with Iran. Trump’s reckless military actions, without Congressional approval or authorization, have caused this crisis. We have been down this dangerous path before in Iraq, and we cannot afford another ill-advised, destructive, and costly war in the Middle East. It’s past time for Congress to reassert our Constitutional authority and return to diplomacy with Iran and our allies.”

The resolution underscores that Congress has the sole power to declare war, as laid out in the Constitution. The resolution requires that any hostilities with Iran must be explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or specific authorization for use of military force, but does not prevent the United States from defending itself from imminent attack. The resolution will force a public debate and vote in Congress as intended by the framers of the Constitution to determine whether United States forces should be engaged in these hostilities.

Rep. Omar is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where she serves on the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Since being elected to Congress, she has been a leading advocate for peace and diplomacy and against war with Iran. In July, she introduced and passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requires reporting on financial costs and national security benefits for overseas military operations. In October, she authored an op-ed in the Washington Post warning of the violent consequences of the Trump Administration’s counterproductive sanctions regime against Iran.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a senior member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees, serving as Vice Chair of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee. She is a member of House Democratic leadership, serving as co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Congresswoman Lee was the sole vote against the 2001 AUMF, and has long been an advocate for ending the United States’ prolonged military conflicts around the world. For the past 18 years, she has consistently worked to repeal both the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs and restore Congress’s constitutional authority on matters of war and peace. She is the sponsor of H.R. 2456, legislation to repeal the 2002 Iraq War AUMF.

You can view the text of the original resolution here,