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Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff). Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Gottheimer votes against limiting Trump war powers

One of 8 Democrats to oppose House resolution

By David Wildstein, January 09 2020 10:55 pm

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) was one of eight House Democrats to oppose a resolution limiting President Donald Trump’s war powers in Iran, arguing that the move could prevent a response to “grave and unforeseen threats in the region.”

“To protect Americans, the Commander-in-Chief, whether Democrat or Republican, must have the tools and capability to respond to exigent threats, whenever they rear their ugly head,” Gottheimer said. “That said, no president has the authority to go to war in Iran, or engage in long-term hostilities, without Congressional approval.”

Arati Kreibich uses Gottheimer’s vote to raise money

Gottheimer’s Democratic primary opponent, Glen Rock Councilwoman Arati Kreibich, was raising money within hours of the House vote.

“I’m running to defeat him because we need Democrats who will stop these endless wars, not enable them,” Kreibich said. “Gottheimer has voted to completely abdicate the responsibility of Congress to approve war.”

The measure passed the House 225-194.  The rest of the New Jersey House delegation voted yes, and the state’s two Republican congressmen, Reps. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) and Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis), voted no.

Gottheimer says resolution “sends conflicting signals to Iran”

“While I have been encouraged by the recent de-escalation, we must not forget that Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and the United States and our allies still face ongoing threats in the region,” said Gottheimer.  “We must be prepared to act swiftly and appropriately to keep Americans safe.”

Gottheimer voiced concern that the resolution “sends conflicting signals to Iran and to its terrorist proxies” and noted that the resolution mirrors existing law.

“We cannot – and must not — play partisan politics with our national security, or do anything that might undermine our servicemembers,” Gottheimer said.  “I remain committed to always putting country ahead of party, protecting our nation from all threats, including a nuclear-armed Iran, and honoring the oath I took to protect and defend the Constitution.”

Rep. Mikie Sherrill supports resolution and questions use of dated AUMFs

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) said that the House resolution “ does not limit the powers of the President to continue to fight Al-Qaeda and to defend Americans and our interests.”

“Many of us are concerned that the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, which were passed while I was serving on active duty, are being used in 2020 to authorize conflicts beyond what Congress envisioned at the time,” said Sherrill, a retired U.S. Navy helicopter pilot.  “With this War Powers resolution, we are ensuring that this President — or any future President — does not enter into another war in the Middle East without a clear strategy and congressional approval as required by the Constitution.”

Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) said he supported the resolution because  it will protect us against going to war with a tweet.”

“It also ensures that if we do go to war, which we may have to at some point, we will do so with the American people united not divided, as the framers intended and our national interest demands,” said Malinowski, who served as an Assistant U.S. Secretary of State before running for Congress.

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