Pelosi announces war powers resolution as tensions with Iran escalate

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By Allan Smith  with NBC News Politics
Image: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference at the U.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 18, 2019.   -   Copyright  Saul Loeb AFP - Getty Images file

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House of Representatives will soon vote on a war powers resolution to limit President Donald Trump's military actions after he ordered the killing of a top Iranian general last week, escalating tensions in the fraught relationship."Last week, the Trump Administration conducted a provocative and disproportionate military airstrike targeting high-level Iranian military officials," Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues Sunday. "This action endangered our servicemembers, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran.""As Members of Congress, our first responsibility is to keep the American people safe," she continued. "For this reason, we are concerned that the Administration took this action without the consultation of Congress and without respect for Congress's war powers granted to it by the Constitution."

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 18, 2019.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 18, 2019.Saul Loeb

She said the resolution that will soon be voted on in the House is similar to one introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va."It reasserts Congress's long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration's military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days," she said.Last week, Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and other officials near the Baghdad airport. Soleimani's death came days after rioters sought to storm the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and a U.S. contractor was killed in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base in Kirkuk.Iran and its allies vowed to retaliate for the general's death, and Trump has since escalated his language in response.On Sunday, Iraq's parliament voted to ask its government to end the presence of U.S. troops in the country, while Iranian state TV reported that Iran will no longer abide by any limits of the 2015 nuclear deal — an agreement from which Trump withdrew the United States in 2018.