WASHINGTON, D.C.— Preventing war with Iran is the House’s first responsibility, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.
“We must avoid war,” Pelosi said. “And the cavalier attitude of this administration,” she continued, “it’s stunning.”
Pelosi’s comments came hours ahead of a House vote to limit President Trump’s ability to conduct further military action against Iran. House Democrats have increased their opposition to Trump’s moves against Iran in the week following the U.S. airstrike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, while he was traveling in a convoy in Baghdad.
Pelosi announced a resolution to limit Trump’s war powers Thursday under mounting concerns from members of both parties surrounding the impetus behind the airstrike.
The Democratic-controlled House is expected to approve the bill, H. Con. Res. 83., in what would be a strong congressional rebuke of Trump’s use of presidential war-making powers. The president has long maintained that he does not need approval from Congress to strike Iran, despite the 1973 War Powers Act.
The law limits a president’s authority to engage U.S. forces in combat in the absence of a formal declaration of war. It also contains stringent reporting requirements, including that the president must notify Congress within 48 hours of ordering armed troops into hostilities.
Pelosi’s rapid move to address the Iranian conflict differs from her slower pace to transmit the House’s impeachment articles against Trump to the Senate.
She said she would not hold the articles indefinitely, but added that the House should move strategically and not just quickly.
“I’ll send them over when I’m ready,” Pelosi said. “And that will probably be soon.”