Washington, DC – In an effort to prevent unconstitutional war with Iran, Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA/17th), Anthony Brown (D-MD/4th), John Garamendi (D-CA/3rd), and Seth Moulton (D-MA/6th) recently introduced an amendment to the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), prohibiting the executive branch from engaging in a military conflict with Iran without prior authorization from Congress. During the committee mark-up process, at the recommendation of Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA/9th), the amendment’s co-authors withdrew the bill.
The amendment emphasized the lack of executive authorizations available for the Trump administration to use in order to engage in war with Iran. It would have restricted the use of any funds authorized in this year’s NDAA to be made available to the Defense Department or any other federal department or agency for use of military force in or against Iran unless Congress has declared war. The amendment recognized the specific statutory authorizations for use of military force without prior congressional authorization, including in the case of a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States.
“A war with Iran would be an unconstitutional and illegal strategic blunder,” said Rep. Khanna. “I will continue to work with my colleagues when the defense bill comes to the floor next month to prevent funds from being used for a war with Iran. Congress must act now to prevent another costly and needless war.”
While the amendment has been withdrawn, Chairman Smith has affirmed that a similar proposal to prevent unconstitutional war with Iran will be introduced as an amendment to the NDAA when it moves on to the floor of the House of Representatives.
June 14th, 2019