Today, Virginia’s U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, introduced a war powers resolution to force a debate and vote in Congress to prevent further escalation of hostilities with Iran. Senator Dick Durbin is an original cosponsor of the legislation.
“For years, I’ve been deeply concerned about President Trump stumbling into a war with Iran. We’re now at a boiling point, and Congress must step in before Trump puts even more of our troops in harm’s way. We owe it to our service members to have a debate and vote about whether or not it’s in our national interest to engage in another unnecessary war in the Middle East,” Kaine said.
Kaine’s colleague in the U.S. Senate, Virginia U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner issued a statement of concern that the Trump administration may not have a plan “to prevent another catastrophic war in the Middle East.”
In his statement today, Warner remarked, “Qassem Soleimani was an enemy of the United States who was responsible for violence across the Middle East and the deaths of thousands of people, including hundreds of Americans. He should not be mourned.
“Presidential administrations of both parties have traditionally consulted with Congress before conducting strategically significant military actions, not only because it is constitutionally appropriate, and not only because doing so provides the opportunity to secure bipartisan congressional support – but also because that process allows for the airing of outside perspectives that might not otherwise be considered, and ensures that tough questions get answered.
“This is a situation that could easily and quickly escalate even further, and it is not clear that the Trump Administration has a plan to prevent another catastrophic war in the Middle East. We need to be prepared for the long-term potential consequences of this action, which include: counter-attacks on U.S. troops and personnel in the region; substantial harm to the ongoing fight against the remnants of ISIS; and ultimately, the possibility of reduced U.S. influence in the region, further empowering our adversaries to the detriment of U.S. national security and our allies in the Middle East.
“The Trump Administration must act with all due haste to protect U.S. military and diplomatic personnel and other Americans in the region.”