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Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) speaks during a "No War With Iran" rally at the U.S. Capitol on January 9, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for MoveOn.org)

'Historic Step': House Votes to Repeal 2002 Iraq AUMF Trump Used to Justify Soleimani Assassination

"Trump's claim that the 2002 AUMF can authorize his attacks against Iran has no basis in reality, underscoring the need for immediate action."

Jake Johnson

The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force, which the Trump administration cited as a legal justification for its assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad earlier this month.

The legislation, sponsored by longtime "war on terror" opponent Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), passed by a vote of 236-166, with 11 Republicans supporting the measure and two Democrats—Reps. Conor Lamb (Penn.) and Jim Cooper (Tenn.)—opposing it.

"For far too long, Congress has been missing in action on matters of war and peace—but today, we took a historic step to reassert our Constitutional authority and stop our endless wars by voting to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF," Lee said in a statement.

"Make no mistake, the president must seek specific authorization from Congress for any use of force against Iran or any country," Lee added. "Trump's claim that the 2002 AUMF can authorize his attacks against Iran has no basis in reality, underscoring the need for immediate action."

The House on Thursday also passed legislation sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) to block any federal funding for military action taken against Iran without congressional approval.

The White House warned on Tuesday that Trump is planning to veto both Democratic measures aimed at curtailing his ability to unilaterally wage war.

Reps. Lee, Khanna, Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) issued a joint statement applauding the passage of the two bills as a recognition that "there is no military solution to our conflicts in the Middle East—only deescalation and diplomacy can lead to peace."

"President Trump's reckless decision to assassinate General Soleimani—conducted without the knowledge or approval of Congress—made it clear that we cannot afford to wait to reassert our Constitutional responsibility over war-making," the Democratic lawmakers said. "These bills are essential to preventing a catastrophic and completely avoidable war with Iran."

Progressive advocacy group Win Without War tweeted that the two bills, which now head to the Republican-controlled Senate, are a "a massive step forward in Congress taking back the reins in matters of war and peace, both with Trump and with future administrations too."


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