US House Votes to Restrict Trump's War Powers

US House Votes to Restrict Trump's War PowersThe resolution, passed on Thursday, comes as criticism over US President Donald Trump's decision to order the assassination of Iranian military commander Lt. General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq intensifies. Congress was not consulted prior to the assassination, angering Democrats who fear Trump's actions could trigger a cycle of escalation leading to war.

The House's War Powers resolution directs Trump to terminate military operations against Iran except for self-defense and clarifies that the president presently does not have congressional authority to engage in war with Iran. A similar version is expected to be debated in the Senate.

Thursday's House vote 224-194 fell along party lines and followed days of frustration by Democrats over Trump actions regarding Iran. Three Republicans and one Independent sided with the Democrats. Eight Democrats voted with Republicans against the resolution, Al Jazeera reported.

Trump's decision to order the drone attack on General Soleimani was "provocative and disproportionate", Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

Under the US Constitution, the authority to direct military action is divided between Congress and the president. Congress has the power to declare war while the president, as commander-in-chief, has the power to use the military to defend the US.

The War Powers Act of 1973 provides that Congress may direct the president to withdraw US forces from hostilities by passing a resolution in both the House and Senate.

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