Iran

Additional Information on the Federal Legislative Agenda, 116th Congress (2019-2020)

Iran

Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran – YES

H.R.2354 is sponsored by Representative Anna Eshoo, from California’s 18th district. This bill prohibits funds being used in active military operations in Iran unless there is an imminent threat and Congress authorizes the use of force against Iran. This bill does not prohibit the use of ‘non-kinetic’ military operations, such as cyberwarfare or latent operations. The Senate’s equivalent, S.1039, is sponsored by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico. In the language of this text, there are reminders of the Founding Fathers desire to have Congress be the sole authority capable of declaring war as well as the limitations that are placed on the President when he exercises his role as Commander-in-Chief, “[t]he constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”[1]

These bills are, respectively, cosponsored by Representative McGovern and Pressley as well as Senators Markey and Warren. Here is the press release by Representative Eshoo for H.R.2354 and this is the press release from Senator Feinstein following her sponsorship of the resolution. 

Clarification that Congress Has Not Provided Authorization for Military Force Against Iran – YES

H.R.2829 is a bill sponsored by Representative Andy Levin from Michigan’s 9th district and cosponsored by several Massachusetts’ Representatives. The bill states findings that al-Qaeda views Iran as a hostile force to their agenda so therefore the 2001 authorization of force is not an acceptable excuse for a declaration of war against Iran.[2] H.R.2829 also provides clarification that Congress has not authorized the use of military force against Iran and that only Congress has the power to declare war. Here is the press release from Representative Levin’s office on his sponsorship of the bill. 

This bill is cosponsored by Representatives McGovern, Pressley and Keating. Here is a page with more background infomation on Iran and the US-Iran relationship. 

Here are some articles with updates on and background explaining the conflict:

U.S.-Iran Tensions: All the Latest Updates” 

Prevent War with Iran: a Peace Action Policy Briefing

Is There a Way Out of the Iran-US Crisis?” by Marwan Kabalan

Iran Violates Nuclear Deal–What Comes Next?” 

Here is a link to regular updates on the legislative status and cosponsorship of these bills. 

Sources:

[1] https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1039/text

[2] https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2829/text