Cline Votes Against War Powers Measure

Congressman Ben Cline joined with most of his fellow Republicans in opposing the war powers resolution that passed the Democraticcontrolled House of Representatives last Thursday. The resolution directs the president to terminate the use of U.S. armed forces against Iran, pursuant to the War Powers Act of 1983. The resolution states that the act requires the president to consult with Congress “in every possible instance” before introducing U.S. forces into hostilities and that Congress had not authorized the president to use military force against Iran.

The vote came a week after President Trump authorized a strike to kill Iran’s top military leader, who was in Iraq at the time.

“Iran is the leading sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers and thousands of civilians around the world,” Cline said in a statement released after the vote. “Even though this resolution to limit the war powers of the president is not binding, it is reckless to hinder his ability to use force against an enemy who attacked U.S. interests only two days ago.

“Not only does this resolution jeopardize our national security, but it also puts our troops and our allies in harm’s way moving forward,” said Cline. “Instead of a debate about the question of the separation of powers, H. Con. Res. 83 condemns the president’s appropriate reasoned response to Iranian aggression. While only Congress can declare war, it is wholly necessary for the President to be able to respond in a swift manner to defend American interests and our men and women in uniform.”

Action is now pending in the U.S. Senate, where a similar resolution was introduced by U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia on Friday, Jan. 3.

“For years, I’ve been deeply concerned about President Trump stumbling into a war with Iran,” Kaine said that day. “We’re now at a boiling point, and Congress must step in before Trump puts even more of our troops in harm’s way. We owe it to our service members to have a debate and vote about whether or not it’s in our national interest to engage in another unnecessary war in the Middle East.”

Kaine told the Washington Post last week that in his efforts to win over needed Republican votes for the resolution, he has agreed to remove references to President Trump from the resolution and to make other technical changes.

Kaine is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees.