0717 GMT December 09, 2019
The Democratic-led House approved an amendment on a broad defense bill that would prohibit funding for military operations against Iran unless they are in self-defense or explicitly approved by Congress, AFP reported.
The party-line vote came after more than two dozen Republicans joined with Democrats on a 251-170 tally to require Trump to get congressional authorization.
But a similar measure failed in the Senate, where Trump's Republican Party holds the majority. The two chambers will have to negotiate over the language as they finalize the bill.
Representative Ro Khanna, the Democrat who led the amendment, said the measure showed that the United States was fed up with war.
"Frankly, what it will prevent is what this president promised to the American people not to do – to get into another endless, costly war in the Middle East," he said on the House floor.
Trump, who walked out of a nuclear accord with Iran and instead reimposed sweeping sanctions, last month authorized a strike on the Islamic Republic after it shot down a US spy drone – but called it off at the last minute.
Trump has said he believes he has the legal right to attack other countries. US administrations have used an authorization of force passed by Congress after the September 11, 2001 attacks to justify a slew of operations around the world.
Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the amendment "reckless," saying that the military should not be held up by a potentially lengthy legislative process.
But 27 Republicans plus Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash joined the overwhelming majority of Democrats in backing the amendment.
Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican who cosponsored the amendment with Khanna, accused his colleagues of not leveling with US troops on why they could be sent to die.