WASHINGTON — Voting mainly on party lines, the House passed a war powers resolution to curb President Donald Trump’s ability to attack Iran without first asking Congress.
The 224 to 194 vote on the resolution — for practical matters a symbolic measure — was mostly on party lines, with the 18 Illinois House members, 13 Democrats and 5 Republicans, breaking entirely on party lines.
Three Republicans and an ex-Republican now independent joined 220 Democrats in approving the resolution.
Eight Democrats joined 186 Republicans in voting no.
Illinois House Republicans no: Mike Bost; Rodney Davis; Adam Kinzinger; Darin LaHood and John Shimkus.
Illinois Democrats yes: Bobby Rush; Robin Kelly; Dan Lipinski; Jesús “Chuy” García; Mike Quigley; Sean Casten; Danny Davis; Raja Krishnamoorthi; Jan Schakowsky; Brad Schneider; Bill Foster; Lauren Underwood; and Cheri Bustos.
The resolution restricting Trump’s power said: the War Powers Resolution “requires the President to consult with Congress ‘‘in every possible instance’’ before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities.”
Davis, Garcia, Casten and Schneider were among the co-sponsors.
Excerpts of statements from Illinois members:
Bobby Rush: “Today, this House of Representatives reaffirms its constitutional authority to demand that the President, now and forever, will bring matters of warfare to be discussed in these exalted chambers. My constituents demand no more or no less.”
Dan Lipinski: Today I voted for a resolution confirming that President Trump must abide by the 1973 War Powers Resolution if he wants to commit the United States to a war against Iran. Despite the rhetoric in the debate surrounding this resolution, it does not in any way limit the President from taking action to defend Americans, including our brave service members serving anywhere around the world.
“I have always asserted that Congress should exercise its constitutional powers and stop ceding more power to the president, no matter their party. The legislative branch has yielded far too much power to the executive branch over the years. This vote once again exerts Congress’ power.”
Jesús “Chuy” García: “President Trump’s reckless approach to foreign policy has made the world a more dangerous place. Rather than make us safer, his decision to assassinate Iranian General Qassem Suleimani prompted Iranian airstrikes on U.S. military bases in Iraq and increased the threat of war.
“It’s our job to keep the President from starting another endless war. This is why I also support H.R. 2456 to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to prevent its misuse as justification for hostilities against Iran. This moment calls for meaningful diplomacy the likes of which we have yet to see from this Administration.”
Mike Quigley: “The Constitution clearly outlines that the power to declare war rests with Congress and Congress alone. It is critical that Congress reassert this role and take decisive action to prevent the President from leading our nation into another endless war in the Middle East. Today’s vote sends the clear message that the House of Representatives will not sit idly by while the President attempts to circumvent Congress’s authority.”
Sean Casten: “Ensuring Congress’ constitutional check on the President’s war-making power is a safeguard to ensure that we are not sending our armed forces into needless conflicts as well as Americans’ confidence that these critically important decisions are on the House Floor in Congress, not in dark rooms at Mar-a-Lago. Unilaterally invoking war is no way to govern and risks the safety of all Americans. That’s why I voted for the War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran. The American people deserve a complete strategy from this Administration and Congress has a constitutional obligation to ensure this Administration cannot enter a catastrophic conflict with Iran.”
Brad Schneider: “It is Congress, and only Congress that is endowed with the most solemn duty to decide if, when and where to commit our nation to war. At the same time, as commander in chief, it is incumbent upon our President to ensure that the fine men and women who serve in our military are only sent into harm’s way after careful deliberation, and tasked with missions that protect and further American interests and reflect the values and high moral standing of our nation.”
Darin LaHood: “Under the authority granted to him by the Constitution and the existing Authorization for Use of Military Force, which President Obama used for similar actions, President Trump acted decisively to protect our country by taking out a known terrorist, Qasem Soleimani. In the last two decades, Soleimani, who was working to coordinate further attacks on Americans, is personally responsible for the deaths of over 600 Americans and thousands more in the Middle East.
“Democrats can’t seem to get over their hatred of President Trump, even as he acts to keep our country safe, and their actions today will further embolden the Iranian regime. After hearing from our intelligence and military officials in a classified briefing about the drone strike, I am confident the President was justified in carrying out this mission. The President acted decisively to take a terrorist off the battlefield, and Democrats shouldn’t work to undermine his ability to keep Americans safe.”
Mike Bost: “I voted against Speaker Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution - an unprecedented attempt to tie the hands of a president fighting to keep us safe in dangerous times. Our brave men & women in uniform are in harm’s way; it’s irresponsible to make it harder for them to do their jobs.”