U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb voted with most Republicans, including Western Pennsylvania Congressmen Guy Reschenthaler and Mike Kelly, Thursday against a pair of amendments to limit President Trump's military authority in Iran, following the killing of a top Iranian general earlier this month. One amendment would require President Trump to get Congressional approval before using military force against Iran: The other repealed a 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force to fight terrorism in Iraq.
“I agree that the current Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) needs to be replaced,” the Democrat said of the repeal measure. “So do many of my Republican colleagues, and we are continuing to push for a new, bipartisan AUMF. But we do not have one yet, and I do not believe our troops in the Middle East deserve to have either AUMF repealed without a replacement.”
Lamb also said Thursday’s legislation wasn’t necessary, since the House had “already made clear to the administration that we have not authorized a new war against Iran" earlier this month. He said that was one reason he didn’t vote for the Thursday measure requiring Congressional approval.
Lamb's statement also said that “recent intelligence has convinced me that [the measure's] language was overly restrictive. Our military and national security agencies will require flexibility to take steps, short of war, to counter the Iranian threat in the Middle East and elsewhere.”
Lamb’s office did not immediately respond to a question about what “recent intelligence” Lamb was referring to.
Lamb’s fellow Western Pennsylvania Democrat U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, voted for both measures. In a statement of his own, he voted to prohibit military force Iran without Congressional approval because “only Congress has the power to declare war, and we should make decisions about Iran strategically, thoughtfully, and Constitutionally.”
Both measures passed with bipartisan support and now go to the Senate.