Oregon and Southwest Washington members of Congress stuck to their partisan lines Thursday on a vote seeking to curb President Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran.
All four Oregon Democrats backed the resolution that passed the House on a 224-194 vote. Republicans Reps. Greg Walden of Oregon and Jaime Herrera Beutler voted against the measure while charging it only provided rhetorical aid to the Iranian government.
The Oregon Democrats say Trump’s decision to kill a top Iranian general actually hurt U.S. foreign policy aims in the Mideast. And they said they want to keep the president from going to war without congressional approval.
Portland Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer told colleagues that last week’s U.S. drone attack that killed Qassem Soleimani only strengthened hardliners in Iran.
“This reckless act by the president of the United States actually makes us less safe,” said Blumenauer, adding that the resolution would help “rein in the president’s worst impulses.”
Lane County Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio said the resolution was the first step toward Congress reasserting its authority to declare war.
In contrast, Walden said in a statement that he’s become more convinced following classified briefings that Trump was right to kill Soleimani.
“Meanwhile, the action of the House today plays into the hands of the Iranians who want us to leave the Middle East to them,” Walden said in the written statement.
In her own statement, Herrera Beutler said she would expect any president, “regardless of party, to take this strategic opportunity to rid the world of one of its most deadly terrorists.”
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., countered in a statement that the House was right to take a clear stand against actions by a president that “risks dragging us into another war.”
Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., said before the vote that it was time to “reassert our Constitutionally granted war-making powers.”