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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Capitol on Jan. 8. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday that the House will vote tomorrow on a War Powers Resolution to curb potential military action by President Trump toward Iran.

Driving the news: Members of Congress were briefed Wednesday by top national security officials on the intelligence behind the decision to kill Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Nothing Trump officials told the House in Wednesday's classified briefing apparently persuaded Democratic leadership against moving forward with the vote on the resolution on Thursday.

The big picture: Democrats and some Republicans have criticized the administration for not obtaining congressional approval before killing one of Iran's most powerful officials. Democrats specifically have questioned claims that there was an "imminent" threat posed by Soleimani, with many stating after Wednesday's briefing that nothing that officials presented them with alleviated their concerns.

What they're saying:

  • Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that they would back a War Powers Resolution brought by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in the Senate, with a frustrated Lee calling it the "worst briefing” he's been to and blasting officials for instructing senators not to debate the strike on Soleimani.
  • House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) told reporters: "The position of the administration is that there was an imminent threat, that Solemani was planning things. I think the storming of our embassy was a wake-up call to the administration. Am I convinced of it? I'm not so sure."
  • Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) told Axios' Alayna Treene: "Nothing I heard, at any point, makes me think that there was something more imminent. Iran is a danger. Iran is a threat. It's the leading exporter of terrorism in the world. So obviously we're very concerned, but you have to have a strategy, not just military escalation, and it has to be in conjunction with our allies. And clearly that's not the case."
  • Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told Treene: "What has been said publicly by Mike Pompeo was reiterated and truly shocked everyone, that the president is using Article two and the AUMF from 2002, which was an effort to go after Iraq and after Saddam Hussein. A basis on which he could not have taken the action he did."

Context: The AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) gave the president the authority to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone believed to have been involved or aided the Sept. 11 attacks.

The other side: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Trump's national security officials "answered every important question," arguing on Twitter that "anyone who walks out & says they aren't convinced action against #Soleimani was justified is either never going to be convinced or just oppose everything Trump does."

  • Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of Trump's most loyal defenders on the Hill, said the briefing "should leave little doubt in any member’s mind that not only did the president make the right call, but that this was a clear and present danger for American interests and American individuals,” per the Washington Post.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.

Congress sprints to meet crush of deadlines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congressional leaders have been pushing off vital action for months — and a lot of it will catch up with them in December, which begins Wednesday.

Driving the news: Funding for the federal government is set to expire at midnight on Friday. There are also consequential deadlines related to the debt limit, President Biden's agenda and annual actions like voting on the National Defense Authorization Act.

1 hour ago - World

U.S. fears Iran won’t scale back to 2015 nuclear deal

Officials gather in Vienna on Sept. 29 for the first day of renewed nuclear talks with Iran. Photo: EU Vienna Delegation/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S. officials have extremely low expectations as world powers resume negotiations with Iran to curb its nuclear program, believing the Iranians aren't yet ready to negotiate seriously, Axios is told.

Driving the news: Senior officials in the U.S. intelligence community have assessed the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, thinks of his predecessor, Hassan Rouhani, as a weak accommodationist who negotiated a bad deal with the U.S. and other world powers in 2015.