Democrat Gottheimer votes ‘no’ on resolution restraining Trump from Iran action
New Jersey congressman Josh Gottheimer was one of eight House Democrats to vote against a non-binding resolution that would require President Donald Trump to seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.
The war powers resolution is not binding on the president and would not require his signature. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted it "has real teeth" because "it is a statement of the Congress of the United States."
The measure will “protect American lives and values” by limiting Trump's military actions, Pelosi said. "The administration must de-escalate and must prevent further violence."
The resolution passed by a vote of 224-194.
The White House called the resolution “ridiculous" and “completely misguided."
In a written statement, Gotteheimer said he believed Trump was “justified in eliminating a terrorist who had killed scores of Americans – and was planning to kill more.”
The 5th Congressional District representative said he is concerned that a resolution could limit the nation’s ability to respond to other unforeseen threats in the area, sends a conflicting message to terrorists and mirrors the existing War Powers Act of 1973.
"To protect Americans, the commander-in-chief, whether Democrat or Republican, must have the tools and capability to respond to exigent threats, whenever they rear their ugly head," Gottheimer said.
He said that constitutionally only Congress can commit troops to war but suggested that the authorization for use of military force be updated to take into account "current action against terror and other operations."
The rest of the state's congressional delegation voted along party lines including, recent Republican convert Jeff Van Drew.
Like Van Drew, Gottheimer had reservations about impeaching Trump and said he would "let the facts guide our work." Gottheimer cast his vote in favor of impeachment while Van Drew voted against in his first vote after making his political party switch public.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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