U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), a former CIA analyst and Shia militia expert who served three tours in Iraq focusing on Iranian-backed militias, and as a senior Pentagon official focused on the region, introduced a War Powers Resolution today, following an all-member classified briefing on the recent Iranian ballistic missile attacks against bases the house American troops in Iraq. In accordance with the law, the resolution requires President Trump to seek the Authorization for Use of Military Force before taking the country into a protracted war with Iran.
“This resolution is intended to make clear that, if the President wants to take us to war, he must get authorization from Congress,” Slotkin said. “This is simply what our Constitution requires. If our loved ones are going to be sent to fight in any protracted war, the President owes the American people a public conversation about why and for what ends. The resolution I am introducing today is intended to have that debate, as our Founders intended, and to be clear with the public on whether their body has authorized a war with Iran. As members of Congress, we have a constitutional responsibility to uphold when it comes to authorizing the use of military force.
“The United States always retains the right to self-defense,” Slotkin continued. “As a former Shia militia CIA analyst who has served multiple times in Iraq, I have lived Iran’s destabilizing activity in Iraq up close and personal. I have watched friends and colleagues get hurt or killed by Iranian rockets, mortars and explosive devices. And Qasim Soleimani was the architect of some of the worst destabilizing activities in the Middle East. But his behavior does not mean that the Administration can disregard the Constitution by engaging in a wider war, without consulting first with Congress. I felt it was important that Congress put down that marker.
“We have been at war for nearly two decades and in that time, which has spanned both Republican and Democratic administrations, Congress has voted only twice to authorize the use of military force: first in 2001, and then in 2002,” Slotkin added. “And as an Army wife with a step-daughter and son-in-law currently on active duty, who could very well be deployed to the Middle East, I feel strongly that Congress has long abdicated its responsibility, as laid out in the Constitution, to make the hard decisions we owe our troops and our country when it comes to authorizing war. We owe it to our military –– and to ourselves as a nation –– to provide our troops clarity, and to abide by the Constitution that they have sworn their lives to protect.”