Pelosi to Push Bill Limiting Trump’s Power in Confrontation with Iran, Now Over

Nancy Pelosi gavel (Win McNamee / Getty)
Win McNamee / Getty

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday afternoon that she will still introduce and hold a vote on a resolution to limit President Donald Trump’s power to lead the military in a confrontation with Iran — even though the confrontation is over.

Pelosi also reiterated that the president had used “provocative and disproportionate” force in the successful airstrike against Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, leader of the terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, responsible for killing over 600 American soldiers and wounding thousands more.

The phrase “disproportionate” carries grim connotations in international law, implying that President Trump may have committed a war crime.

On Wednesday morning, President Trump announced from the White House that Iran was “standing down” after a largely symbolic missile attack overnight at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops that failed to cause any American casualties.

But Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that Democrats’ concerns “were not addressed” by the president’s speech.

There were reports Tuesday night that Pelosi and the Democrats planned to pull the resolution, not only because Iran had retaliated, but also because the party could not agree internally on what the bill should contain.

The bill is expected to limit the time a president can lead the military into conflict to 30 days, down from 60 days under the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) criticized Pelosi in a floor speech Wednesday for blaming the Trump administration Tuesday night, rather than Iran, for the confrontation — while U.S. troops were under fire.

Pelosi had tweeted against “needless provocations from the Administration” and suggested the U.S. could not “afford” war.

She said Wednesday that the Democrats’ resolution may include a proposal introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to defund any U.S. military action against Iran — effectively signaling surrender.

None of these proposals is likely to pass the Senate, where McConnell and the Republicans hold the majority.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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