By Kimberly Atkins on January 9, 2020
As the House readies a vote on Congressional authority in any future military action against Iran, Rep. Jim McGovern, chairman of the House Rules Committee, brushed off Republican criticism that the measure would tie the president’s hands.
“This resolution basically says if the president wants a war with Iran, he has to come to Congress. That’s all it says,” McGovern said at a hearing on the measure Wednesday night.
“When anybody talks about the president being restrained, I must have been living on a different planet the last week,” the Worcester Democrat said, adding that Americans have been “traumatized” by being brought “to the brink” of war with Iran. “I mean, I’ve been reading his Twitter account.”
But the resolution is not enough for some lawmakers. Rep. Joe Kennedy is calling for a vote on repealing the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations For Use of Military Force (AUMF), which the past three administrations have used to engage in military action.
“(F)or the better part of an entire generation, Congress has abdicated our Constitutional duty and allowed that dangerous mission creep to occur,” Kennedy said in a statement accompanying a letter to Pelosi this week. “Now, a reckless Commander in Chief has led our nation to the threshold of yet another war without the approval of the United States Congress and the Americans we represent.”
Other Democrats also back the revocation of past AUMFs, including Sen. Ed Markey, who Kennedy is vying to unseat.
“Congress needs to repeal the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force,” Markey said in a statement after Trump’s address to the nation on Iran Wednesday. Markey urged diplomacy with Iran “to defuse tensions and prevent any movement toward a nuclear-weapons program. We cannot allow Trump to lead us into a war with Iran.”
Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell remain dug in over the start of Trump’s impeachment trial, with Pelosi holding impeachment articles to gain leverage over the Senate trial process, and McConnell vowing to move forward with or without Democratic cooperation.
But Rep. Katherine Clark, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, took issue with McConnell justifying his plan to proceed without an agreement on whether to call witnesses like former National Security Advisor John Bolton to testify. McConnell said he is following the same rules the Senate followed during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton.
“His comparison to the Clinton impeachment when it comes to calling witnesses is really an apples and oranges comparison,” Clark told reporters yesterday. “In the Clinton impeachment trial, those witnesses had already been deposed, they had testified and were part of [Ken] Starr’s report.”
Clark said, by contrast, Trump’s White House has refused to allow witnesses to testify.
“Here we have John Bolton coming forward saying he would respond to a subpoena, that he would come forward with the information that we need to know,” the Melrose Democrat said. “Continuing to block, to coordinate this trial with the White House makes the Senate leader complicit in this obstruction of the facts that we need to put forth in the impeachment trial and put forward in front of the American people.”
Original story here.