By Jesse Naranho
The House on Thursday approved two measures aimed at clawing back President Donald Trump’s war powers, a direct result of recent aggression between Iran and the United States that culminated earlier this month in missile attacks on Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops.
The votes, which passed with four Republican defections on one measure and 11 on the other, mark a victory for anti-war lawmakers who have long sought to rein in the executive’s ability to use military force without congressional authorization. The White House opposed the measures and their support within the GOP was closely watched as a litmus test for loyalty among Republican members to the president in an election year.
Although the White House released individual policy statements opposing the measures earlier this week, the Trump administration’s position on them was muddied Wednesday by the president himself, who wrote on Twitter that members should “vote their heart” — a potential signal that he anticipated some defections.
Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat who has long worked to repeal the 2002 military force authorization that allowed the United States to invade Iraq, said in an interview that she found the president’s tweet consistent with “not knowing what their policy is.”