Rep. Gabbard: Stop Trump From Starting War With Iran & Venezuela

June 24, 2019, 10:30 AM HST (Updated June 24, 2019, 9:58 AM)
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With ongoing threats by the Trump Administration to use military force against Iran, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawai‘i-02) secured two separate provisions in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, passed by the House Armed Services Committee, ensuring that no measure in the bill may be used as an authorization for the use of military force against either Iran or Venezuela, according to a June 24, 2019, press rlease from Rep. Gabbard’s office.

She also reintroduced the No More Presidential Wars resolution, which would prohibit the president from starting a war without Congressional authorization. It defines presidential wars not declared by Congress under Article I, section 8, clause 11 (Declare War Clause) as impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

“The Trump Administration continues to escalate tensions with Iran, pushing us closer to the brink of war,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “This includes US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, increasing crippling sanctions, designating Iran’s military as a terrorist organization, and sending more U.S. troops to the region. Congress bears the Constitutionally-mandated authority to declare war. Trump launching an attack against Iran without Congressional authorization would be illegal, unconstitutional, and kick off a war so devastating and costly, it would make the Iraq war look like a picnic.

“My No More Presidential Wars resolution will exact a clear consequence to any president that skirts the war powers authority of Congress and my NDAA amendments will make certain that nothing in this bill may be used to take America into yet another wasteful, counterproductive regime change war.”

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Rep. Gabbard is a leading voice for peace in Congress, advocating against counterproductive, regime-change wars — including raising concerns regarding recent Administration actions which have heightened tensions in the Middle East.

She has called for ending support for Saudi Arabia, pushed for additional oversight on acquisition and cross-service agreements (Section 1271 of the FY19 NDAA), supported three resolutions in the 115th Congress (H.Con.Res.81, H.Con.Res.138, and H.Con.Res.142) that sought to stop U.S. military participation in Saudi Arabia’s war against the Houthis in Yemen, in addition to bipartisan legislation (H.R.7082) that would immediately stop all military sales and aid to the government of Saudi Arabia, and more. The congresswoman also led a letter calling on former Speaker Paul Ryan to schedule an immediate vote on a bipartisan resolution to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Rep. Gabbard and the late Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced similar legislation, H.Res.922, during the 115th Congress. The current No More Presidential Wars resolution, introduced in May 2019, can be found here.

The 2020 NDAA reported by the House Armed Services Committee includes Section 1225 (page 779, lines 16-20) dealing with Iran and Section 1266 (page 841, lines 1-5) dealing with Venezuela—both stating that the NDAA may not be construed as an authorization for the use of military force against either country.

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