Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement responding to the U.S. military’s assassination of Qasem Soleimani:
“The assassination of Qasem Soleimani represents a dangerous, unconstitutional, and unprecedented military escalation with Iran. Congress has not given President Trump the authority to start a war with Iran — in fact, in the House-passed NDAA earlier this year, we explicitly prohibited preemptive military action of this kind in an overwhelming, bipartisan vote.
“By circumventing Congress and green-lighting an unconstitutional strike, President Trump is doubling down on the reckless military brinksmanship that has already led us to the edge of war. It should be clear that the Trump Administration’s approach to Iran has been nothing short of a disaster: withdrawing from the Iran Deal and launching a harmful ‘maximum pressure’ campaign has unraveled decades of diplomacy and alienated us from our allies. With the latest airstrike, we may well be at the brink of war. Congress must act swiftly to stop the Trump Administration from further escalating before this situation spirals out of control.
“We need to know why Congress was not consulted, whether our allies were informed of our actions, how we will keep U.S. troops, regional partners, and civilians in the region safe, and — critically — how the White House plans to prevent a catastrophic war with Iran.
“While we seek those answers, Congress must make it clear that there is no congressional authority for war with Iran. We have spent the last eighteen years trying to extricate ourselves from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have cost thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars. In countries across the region – including Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Libya – U.S. military action has destabilized the lives of millions of people and led to the deaths of countless innocent civilians. We cannot afford another deadly, costly, and unending war. There is no military solution to this crisis — instead, we must pursue meaningful diplomacy to achieve peace and stability in the region.”
The vote on the Khanna NDAA Amendment, to prohibit funding for a war with Iran, is available here. This amendment was opposed by Senate Republicans and the Trump Administration, and was not included in the final version of the bill.