This bill specifically states it does not authorize the use of force but then demands the President blockade Iran. The bill has 208 cosponsors as of 6/24/2008 and may be voted on within a week.
The bill states the following, "...Whereas nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran: Now, therefore be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that Congress... (3) demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran's nuclear program..."
See the bill at: http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:h.con.res.00362:The Senate version is S.RES. 580.
Interpretation: The bill specifically claims to not authorize force but then "demands" an embargo. This is a contradiction. I believe it's intentional, obfuscating game playing. It gives cover to war democrats. How do you enforce an embargo without force? You don't. Also, the bill "demands the President initiate international effort to immediately and dramatically increase... pressure on Iran... by...prohibiting... imposing..." It states that the way the President must initiate international effort is by imposing the embargo. It does not call for an international embargo. The unilateral embargo is to initiate the international effort. Without prior international sanction, it will be an act of war.
FYI - I called the alleged liberal Representative Robert Wexler to chastise him for sponsoring this legislation. His assistant claimed the resolution specifically precludes force and is meant to increase pressure on Iran to cease enrichment. I told him the "demand" for an embargo, which must by definition include force, would be reasonably construed by the military to authorize force in spite of the obvious contradiction. This bill coupled with the defeat of the DeFazio amendment (2), current authorizations for the war on terror, the Senate designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, may all combine to give the military the reasonable belief that Bush can attack Iran without specific Congressional authorization. Mr. Wexler voted for the Iraq war, against the DeFazio amendment, and supports this war resolution. Henry Waxman has the same voting record and also cosponsors this bill.
Call your Congressmen at (202) 224 3121: Tell him you strongly oppose H.Con.Res. 362 and S.Res. 580. Tell him, if he voted against the 5/16/2007 DeFazio amendment (See 2 below), his vote was against the Constitution and Un-American. Tell him, even if he would support an attack, Congress must pass legislation this summer requiring Mr. Bush to get specific Congressional authorization for an attack on Iran. Tell him, however else we may disagree, let us agree to Support the Constitution.
(1) 5/27 article "House Un-American Activity"http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_john_sca_080527_house_un_american_ac.htm
(2) 5/16/2007 DeFazio amendment (H.Amdt.187) to H.R.1585 - The amendment required Bush to get Congressional approval for an attack on Iran. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d110:5:./temp/~bdI1aR::Check to see how your Congressman voted on the DeFazio amendment at: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll365.xml