Rep. McCarthy: House Resolution Terminating Hostilities Against Iran 'Means Nothing'

By Susan Jones | January 9, 2020 | 9:15am EST
(Photo of U.S. Capitol by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo of U.S. Capitol by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

( - The House of Representatives on Thursday is expected to take up a concurrent resolution directing the president to "terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran."

The concurrent resolution, introduced by Michigan Democrat Elissa Slotkin, "is such a joke," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News's Laura Ingraham Wednesday night.

McCarthy noted that Slotkin has introduced a concurrent resolution, which does not require the signature of the president and does not have the force of law. By contrast, a joint resolution, such as the War Powers Act, does require the president’s signature and does have the force of law.

"You've got to understand how they're bringing it up. It's con(current) resolution. This is the same type of resolution we use to do a soap box derby on Capitol Hill," McCarthy said. "It doesn't go to the president. It means nothing."

McCarthy said he assumes the Democrats are advancing a concurrent resolution "to try to appease a socialist base -- but it has no power, it has no meaning, it's equal to a soap box derby."

He said the resolution's sponsor, Elissa Slotkin, "should be embarrassed."

"She knows better than this, if you read her background. And you know what is most interesting? She's allowing her name to be used as a trick. It's a resolution that means nothing, it doesn't go to the president, it doesn't have any meaning whatsoever, and they're trying to play something up, and then they're trying to tie the (president's) hands. And are they forgetting what Iran has done to the American soldier?"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called President Trump's drone strike on Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani "provocative and disproportionate," and she complained that he did it "without consulting Congress."

"This action endangered our servicemembers, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran."

Pelosi said members of Congress "have serious, urgent concerns about the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward.  Our concerns were not addressed by the President’s insufficient War Powers Act notification and by the Administration’s briefing today (Jan. 8)."

She said the House will move forward with a war powers (concurrent) resolution to "honor our duty to keep the American people safe."

The 5-page concurrent resolution reads as follows:


Directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran.

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring),


(a) FINDINGS. Congress makes the following findings:

   (1) The Government of Iran is a leading state sponsor of terrorism and engages in a range of destabilizing activities across the Middle East. Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was the lead architect of much of Iran’s destabilizing activities throughout the world.

   (2) The United States has an inherent right to self-defense against imminent armed attacks. The United States maintains the right to ensure the safety of diplomatic personnel serving abroad.

   (3) In matters of imminent armed attacks, the executive branch should indicate to Congress why military action was necessary within a certain window of opportunity, the possible harm that missing the window would cause, and why the action was likely to prevent future disastrous attacks against the United States.

   (4) The United States has national interests in preserving its partnership with Iraq and other countries in the region, including by—

      (A) combating terrorists, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS);

      (B) preventing Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability; and

      (C) supporting the people of Iraq, Iran, and other countries throughout the Middle East who demand an end to government corruption and violations of basic human rights.

   (5) Over the past eight months, in response to rising tensions with Iran, the United States has introduced over 15,000 additional forces into the Middle East. The killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, as well as Iran’s ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases, risks significant escalation in hostilities between the United States and Iran.

   (6) When the United States uses military force, the American people and members of the United States Armed Forces deserve a credible explanation regarding such use of military force.

   (7) The War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.) requires the President to consult with Congress "in every possible instance" before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities.

   (8) Congress has not authorized the President to use military force against Iran.

(b) TERMINATION.—Pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1544(c)), Congress hereby directs the President to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran or any part of its government or military, unless—

   (1) Congress has declared war or enacted specific statutory authorization for such use of the Armed Forces; or

   (2) such use of the Armed Forces is necessary and appropriate to defend against an imminent armed attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its Armed Forces, consistent with the requirements of the War Powers Resolution.

(c) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section may be construed—

   (1) to prevent the President from using military force against al Qaeda or associated forces;

   (2) to limit the obligations of the executive branch set forth in the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.);

   (3) to affect the provisions of an Act or joint resolution of Congress specifically authorizing the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities against Iran or any part of its government or military that is enacted after the date of the adoption of this concurrent resolution;

   (4) to prevent the use of necessary and appropriate military force to defend United States allies and partners if authorized by Congress consistent with the requirements of the War Powers Resolution; or

   (5) to authorize the use of military force.


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