Jan 4, 2020

Sanders, Ro Khanna push to block funds for military force against Iran

Rep. Ro Khanna and Sen. Bernie Sanders at an April press conference following a vote to end U.S. military involvement in the war in Yemen. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called on Friday to introduce legislation that "blocks Pentagon funding for any unilateral actions" taken by President Trump "to wage war against Iran without congressional authorization."

The big picture: Trump claimed on Friday that the U.S. airstrike that killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was not intended to start a war. Both Democrats and Republicans — such as Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) — have criticized Trump for not obtaining congressional approval for the strike.

Flashback: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said earlier on Friday that he considers the strike an "act of aggression against Iraq" that would "light the fuse of war."

“We know that it will ultimately be the children of working-class families who will have to fight and die in a new Middle East conflict—not the children of the billionaire class.
...The House and Senate should pass our legislation immediately and uphold our constitutional responsibilities. We must invest in the needs of the American people, not spend trillions more on endless wars.”
— Bernie Sanders and Ro Khanna's Friday statement

Go deeper: The next move on Iran after Qasem Soleimani's killing

Go deeper

White House informs Congress of Soleimani strike, Trump warns U.S. will hit Iran if attacked

Trump speaks at a Evangelicals for Trump Coalition event, Jan. 3. Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The White House has notified Congress of the drone strike that killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, fulfilling its duties under the War Powers Act.

Why it matters: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the notification "raises more questions than it answers." Both Democrats and Republicans — including Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) — have criticized President Trump for not obtaining congressional approval for this week's strike.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 5, 2020

House passes war powers resolution condemning military action against Iran

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The House voted 224-194 on Thursday in favor of a symbolic war powers resolution directing President Trump to halt the use of military force against Iran unless he obtains approval from Congress.

The big picture: A classified briefing Wednesday on the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani left Democrats and even some Republicans deeply skeptical, with many claiming that officials did not provide evidence that there was an "imminent" threat from Iran.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020

Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Iran strike boosts Sanders' anti-war stature

Data: Newswhip; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bernie Sanders' response to the Trump administration's strike that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani generated far more attention than his 2020 Democratic rivals, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: The numbers point to Sanders' elevated stature as an anti-interventionist voice in the race — one that has been sharpened nationally going back to his campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Go deeperArrowJan 11, 2020