Like Davis, several members of Congress worried about the possibility of a wider war, and that the Trump administration would use the 2001 Authorization for Military Force to circumvent congressional war-making powers. Finding this suggestion “troubling,” Deutch reminded “the administration that there is broad bipartisan agreement that that’s not the case. To reiterate, Congress has not authorized war with Iran.” Regarding the War Powers Act of 1973, Brian Hook told Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) that “I’m not a War Powers Act scholar, I can only tell you everything we would do would be lawful.” He further assured Sherman that “there is no talk of offensive action.” When asked if the Islamic Republic was one of the entities responsible for deaths on 9/11 (which would fall under the 2001 AUMF), Hook responded “No.” Hours after the hearing, the House Democratic majority voted to sunset the authorization (no House Republicans voted for the funding bill that included the sunset language).
As Brian Hook exited the committee room, he was trailed by Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin, who lofted a sign above her that read “No War with Iran.”
Hunter DeRensis is a reporter for the National Interest.