Washington, DCToday, Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, voted against H.Con.Res. 83 – Directing the President Pursuant to Section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to Terminate the Use of United States Armed Forces to Engage in Hostilities in or Against Iran. The resolution terminates a war against Iran that the U.S. armed forces are not currently engaged in and has been written as a concurrent resolution that, as drafted, will not be sent to the President’s desk.

“Today, we voted on a War Powers Resolution that I could not support. This legislation would halt the use of military force against Iran, despite US military forces not being actively engaged in an ongoing conflict with Iran. Additionally, the War Powers Resolution we voted on today is a concurrent resolution, not a proposed bill or joint resolution, and according to Supreme Court constitutional case law, it likely does not have the force of law. Like many of my colleagues, I too feel that Congress should play its designated role in declaring war—but bipartisan changes to foreign policy are not brought about by symbolic messaging gestures.”

Background:

  • In the last two months alone, Soleimani orchestrated 11 attacks on US troops in Iraq—killing a U.S. contractor and injuring 4 soldiers—and an attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad.
  • On January 2, U.S. forces struck Soleimani in Baghdad as a “defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad,” according to the Department of Defense.
  • Congressman Curtis received a classified briefing regarding the “clear, unambiguous intelligence” (-DOD General Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) behind the strike on Soleimani.
  • The resolution also forbids the use of force against any part of Iran’s government or military, even if they are imminently threatening American civilians, diplomats, allies, or commerce
  • Drafted as a “concurrent resolution” as opposed to a “joint resolution”— H.Con.Res 83 will not be presented to the President and cannot have the force of law 

Important to note: The House Resolution is not the same as the Senate Resolution, and the two chambers received different briefings this week. 

###