Hastings recently announced that he considers Iran to be a significant enough threat that he is preparing an authorization to go to war in order to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons. He says that he will introduce his bill on September 8, in Congress’s first session following the summer break.
Even though Congress still has to vote in order to accept the nuclear agreement, Hastings says that it is an “absolute necessity” to make the use of military force a possibility “regardless of how Congress votes.”
Representative John Larson (D-CT) has already drafted a war authorization, though Larson’s would only allow the US to intervene is Iran proves to not comply with its responsibilities.
Despite the two bills, analysts do not expect Congress to find the two-thirds majority to both reject the nuclear deal and overcome a presidential veto.
While it is unlikely that President Obama, the strongest Western voice in favor of the Iran deal, would look to use military force against Iran, there will be a new president in January 2017. The war authorizations would be largely for his or her use.
There is also no guarantee that Congress will pass either war authorization. The US military has been attacking ISIS for over a year, yet Congress still has not approved the authorization that the White House submitted in February to do so.