Pelosi Defeats Republicans To Win Trump Stopping Vote 228-175

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This Thursday, as President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial continued, the House approved a pair of measures meant to restrain Trump’s military power following his abrupt airstrike that killed top Iranian General and political leader Qassem Soleimani. That assassination set off a wave of tension that included retaliatory Iranian strikes on U.S. bases in Iraq — which have left some 50 soldiers diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, according to the most recent report. Now, the House has voted to prohibit the usage of any funds for offensive strikes against Iran without Congressional approval and to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that preceded the Iraq War and has been used to justify many overseas military excursions in the time since.

Although the White House has insisted that the president is prepared to veto both measures, and “Grim Reaper” Mitch McConnell’s continued leadership in the Senate presents problems for the measures’ futures in that chamber, they did attract a handful of Republicans in the House. The prohibition against using funds to strike Iran without Congressional authorization sported four Republican supporters, while eleven Republicans voted in favor of the AUMF repeal. Those in both groups even included some prominent Trump supporters like Florida’s Matt Gaetz and Kentucky’s Thomas Massie.

Gaetz commented:

‘The best time to vote against the Iraq War would have been in 2002. And the second-best time is today.’

His own previous vote in favor of a resolution meant to restrict the president’s power to unilaterally rush into war without Congressional approval drew apparent criticism from inside the White House. Gaetz reported that he’d heard that White House legislative affairs director Tom Ueland had used the vote as fodder in advocating against the Congressman’s inclusion on the president’s team of impeachment advisers from Congress.

Trump himself offered chaotic at best messaging about the House resolutions.

On Wednesday morning, he tweeted:

‘On the Iraq War Resolution being voted on tomorrow in the House of Represenatives… I want everyone, Republican and Democrat, to vote their HEART!’

But then later that same day, he angrily added:

‘Nancy Pelosi wants Congress to take away authority Presidents use to stand up to other countries and defend AMERICANS. Stand with your Commander in Chiefs!’

So which is it? From here, the “Senate is expected to take up an Iran war powers resolution sponsored by Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, but action on that front appears to be on ice while the impeachment trial is underway in that chamber,” CNN notes. The two Thursday House votes were set up as votes on amendments to uncontroversial bills about commemorative coins, which was meant to restrict Republican abilities to derail the process, as they’ve shown themselves ready and willing to do in the past when something doesn’t exactly line up with their pro-Trump agenda.

Now, the Trump impeachment trial is continuing. The question-and-answer period is winding down this Thursday, and then, there will be a vote on whether or not to hear from witnesses, and it’s not immediately clear how that vote will actually go.