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As Trump Admin Briefs Congress on Soleimani Threat, Some Lawmakers Want Congressional Approval on Further Action

01-08-2020
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President Trump's top national security advisers briefed Congress Wednesday about the killing of Iran's top general after some lawmakers questioned and even criticized the move. While many top Republicans support the president, others questioned his authority to act without congressional approval. 

Both chambers of Congress had an opportunity this afternoon to question administration officials on reasons they felt Qasem Soleimani to be an imminent threat and the long term strategy in the region.

"I'm concerned they have no strategy," said Sen. Bob Menendez, (D-NJ)

Democrats were quick to question and criticize the killing of the Iranian commander.

"What's at risk is national security and American lives," Menedez said. 

While many Republicans are praising the president for finally taking action.

"He (Soleimani) is a nasty, nasty person and is a real threat to our national security," said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Sen. James Lankford  (R-OK) argued after months of Iranian aggression toward the US - it was time to act. 

"The restraint that the President has had over and over again. That they take down one of our drones and then they launch rockets at us a dozen times over two months. And the President has not responded he has waited and said if an American is injured or killed we are going to respond in a very strong way," Lankford said. "He's done that now and I think that's consistent with our policies."

But Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) believes Trump should have cleared the attack with Congress.

"In our country, it was supposed to be that we wouldn't send people into harm's way unless there was a political consensus, represented by a congressional vote that war was in the national interest and that's what I'm trying to force Congress to grapple with," he said. 

Kaine introduced a war powers resolution to prevent President Trump from further escalating the situation with Iran without congressional approval.

"All he's doing is escalating tensions and he seems to believe 'I can strike you, but you can't strike me,'" Kaine said. 

While Republicans like Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are considering to support Kaine's resolution or similar legislation, Lankford argues it is not needed because we are not at war with Iran or trying to start a war. 

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