The non-biding House Iran War Powers resolution to limit President Donald Trump’s future military action against the Islamic State of Iran, passed by a vote count of 224-194 along party lines, but saw three Republicans cross the aisle to vote with Democrats.
Reps. Matt Gaetz, Thomas Massie, and Francis Rooney backed the resolution, leaving many Republican members scratching their heads over their vote, especially after Rep. Brian Mast’s passionate speech on the House floor.
Rep. Mast, who lost both his legs and a digit in Afghanistan when he stepped on an IED during a nighttime operation, told The Floridian that American “deaths were paid for by Obama.”
Moments after casting his vote in favor of the measure, Rep. Matt Gaetz explained his vote, telling The Floridian that he was “sure the president” would have preferred he had voted ‘No’ on the resolution but added that he understood his “principled position on this subject.”
“This resolution does not criticize the president. It does not criticize his policies,” said Gaetz “It does not criticize his decision to kill Soleimani. This resolution lays out the case for self-defense, at times even preemptive self-defense, and it dictates that congress to do its job and vote for or against these forever wars. That’s been my position, consistently.
I am sure the president would prefer that I vote against this resolution, but he understands my principled position on this subject.”
“The president understands that this is not a critique of him, his policies, or his actions against Soleimani. This is a critique of really the Obama-Bush doctrine of “invade and persuade.”
When asked about how Democrats were upset and critical with Trump’s execution of the War on Terror, and not with former President Barack Obama’s past “Drone Diplomacy” foreign policy, Gaetz agreed that House Democrats were being hypocrites.
“I agree the Democrats are being hypocrites. We shouldn’t join them in being hypocrites. We criticized Obama’s regime change strategy in Libya because it was not authorized by the congress. We should remain consistent in asserting Congress’ obligation to speak to these matters of war and peace.”- Rep. Matt Gaetz
Fellow Floridian Rep. Bill Posey (R) reiterated what majority of Republicans felt about the resolution. Posey said that this “non-binding” measure nothing more than a Democrat play “to condemn the president” and to “trash” him.