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U.S. House approves resolution limiting Trump's ability to take military action against Iran

The Democratic-led House approved a measure on Thursday limiting U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to take military action against Iran, days after he ordered a drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Vote, largely along party lines, follows drone strike that killed Iranian general OK'd by president

'The administration must de-escalate and must prevent further violence,' U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, regarding U.S. President Donald Trump. (Chip Somodovilla/Getty Images)

The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure on Thursday limiting President Donald Trump's ability to take military action against Iran, days after he ordered a drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The House voted 224 to 194, almost exclusively along party lines, reflecting the deep divide in Congress. Democrats accused Trump of acting recklessly and backed the war powers resolution, while Trump's fellow Republicans, who rarely vote against the president, opposed it.

The war powers resolution is not binding on the president and would not require his signature. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nonetheless insisted it "has real teeth" because "it is a statement of the Congress of the United States."

The measure will "protect American lives and values" by limiting Trump's military actions, Pelosi said. "The administration must de-escalate and must prevent further violence."

Passage in the House sends the measure to the Republican-controlled Senate, where its fate is uncertain. Republicans hold 53 of the chamber's 100 seats and rarely vote against the president, but at least three Republican senators — including ex-Marine Todd Young — have expressed support for the war powers resolution.

"We are members of a separate and distinct branch of government. It is our duty not to take anyone's word for things as we are dealing with matters of life and death," Young said. The Indiana Republican added that he wished Trump administration officials had provided more intelligence information during a briefing Wednesday on a U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general.

The White House issued a statement opposing the measure.

"This concurrent resolution is misguided, and its adoption by Congress could undermine the ability of the United States to protect American citizens whom Iran continues to seek to harm," the Statement of Administration Policy said.

Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, denounced the Democratic measure as little more than "a press release designed to attack President Trump." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California called it a "meaningless vote" on a measure that will never be sent to the president or "limit his constitutional authority to defend the American people."

With files from The Associated Press

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