By a 226-203 vote, the House of Representatives this afternoon passed an omnibus appropriations bill that ignores Trump’s demands for steep cuts to or the outright elimination of many federal programs. The bill also includes numerous provisions intended to block Trump priorities, defunding nuclear technology transfers to Saudi Arabia and rejecting Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.
The bill also repeals the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), the broadly written joint resolution allowing the Bush, Obama, and now Trump administrations wide latitude in mounting military operations intended to combat “terrorism” without additional congressional debate or approval. This is of special note given the Trump administration’s new claims of “ties” between Iran and al-Qaida—evidently an effort to shoehorn possible military actions against Iran into the 2001 authorization, thus bypassing Congress.
The Republican-held Senate will, with certainty, refuse to sign off on many of the bill’s Democratic-sponsored provisions. Whether purportedly Trump-skeptical Senate Republicans can be spurred into nixing the White House’s favored ticket for justifying new military operations against Iran remains to be seen.