- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A highly anticipated vote on a measure clipping President Trump’s warmaking authority drafted by House Democrats appears to have been pushed back following the Tuesday night attack by Iran on two Iraqi bases that house U.S. military members.

House Democratic Caucus Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said Wednesday morning that the timing of a vote on the resolution “is an ongoing discussion” and it’s now unclear when the vote will be held.

The New York Democrat’s comments contradict the sentiments of House Democrats who just one day prior expressed strong support for a vote Wednesday.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer later explained that the resolution will be released and put up for a vote “as soon as we believe it is fair to move forward.”

“It’s going to be sooner rather than later,” the Maryland Democrat told reporters.

Rep. Katherine Clark, Massachusetts Democrat and vice chair of the caucus, explained that the House still plans to vote on the resolution this week, but the expected Wednesday vote is unlikely to happen.

She said the resolution will “reconfirm Congress’ long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further congressional action is taken, the administration’s military hostilities with Iran must cease within 30 days.”

Mr. Hoyer said many House Democrats see the U.S. strike last week that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani could be considered an act of war because Gen. Soleimani was “not only a military figure but also a political figure in Iran.” Under the Constitution, only Congress has the authority to declare war.

Shortly after the strike, administration officials said the move was made in an effort to thwart an “imminent threat” posed by the Quds force leader, which would be in line with the president’s military authority — but such a threat remains unclear.

House and Senate lawmakers are scheduled to receive closed-door briefings from Pentagon and State Department officials this afternoon where Mr. Hoyer said he hopes to gain more information about the administration’s justification for the strike.

Gabriella Muñoz contributed to this story.

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