The U.S. House voted on Friday to approve an amendment to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would block funding for military force against Iran without explicit Congressional approval.
Democrats in Congress were joined by 27 Republicans in approving the amendment, which passed by a 251-170 margin, who decided to push-back against the President’s aggressive posturing toward Iran.
“Iran better be careful. They’re treading on very dangerous territory. Iran of you listening, you better be careful,” Trump said to reporters on Friday.
These pro-peace Republicans are led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who was a primary co-sponsor of the amendment. Gaetz is a prominent Trump supporter who wants the President to pursue a non-interventionist foreign policy, rather than the belligerent foreign policy of his predecessors.
“If my war-hungry colleagues — some of whom have already suggested that we invade Venezuela, North Korea and probably a few other countries before lunch time tomorrow — if they’re so certain in their case against Iran, let them bring their authorization to use military force against Iran to this very floor,” Gaetz said on the House floor.
Other Republican legislators who joined Gaetz in supporting the amendment include Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ), Rep. Ken Buck (CO), Rep. Tim Burchett (TN), Rep. Michael Burgess (TX), Rep. Ben Cline (VA), Rep. Michael Cloud (TX), Rep. Tom Cole (OK), Rep. James Comer (KY), Rep. Warren Davidson (OH), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (OH), Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ), Rep. Morgan Griffith (VA), Rep. Jody Hice (GA), Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (IN), Rep. Jim Jordan (OH), Rep. Thomas Massie (KY), Rep. Mark Meadows (NC), Rep. Alex Mooney (WV), Rep. Tom Reed (NY), Rep. Francis Rooney (FL), Rep. Chip Roy (TX), Rep. David Schweikert (AZ), Rep. Fred Upton (MI), Rep. Roger Williams (TX), and Rep. Ted Yoho (FL).
The entire Democratic caucus voted to support the amendment as well, as a bipartisan coalition emerges to stop another forever war in the Middle East.
“This is the only way to stop Trump from starting another costly war. Constitutional rights aren’t optional and endless war isn’t inevitable,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who co-sponsored the amendment with Gaetz, in a tweet.
“In the end we had 87 cosponsors from both parties lead in reasserting Congress’ authority over matters of war and peace. This is how we democratize our foreign policy and put an end to unconstitutional wars,” Khanna added in another tweet.
“Today’s vote makes clear that the President cannot initiate a war unilaterally as that power is reserved to Congress in the Constitution. I hope the amendment’s passage will also serve to help smooth the path to diplomatic reengagement with Iran,” Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) wrote in a statement on Friday.
President Trump has repeatedly stated that he does not want war with Iran and is willing to engage in talks with the Islamic Republic. Hopefully the bipartisan resistance coming from Congress will compel him to extend the olive branch, like he has to great effectiveness with North Korea.