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STATEMENT: Rep. Heck on Airstrike Against Soleimani

Jan 3, 2020
Press Release

OLYMPIA, WA – Today, Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) released the following statement about the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by a U.S. airstrike in Iraq:

“Killing Qasem Soleimani represents a steep escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, and I am gravely concerned that the Administration has not considered all of the effects of this decision. I am especially concerned for U.S. servicemembers, diplomatic personnel, and allies in the region.

“The Administration has yet to define a clear strategy with regard to Iran. From withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal to ordering the killing of Soleimani, the President has continually opted to escalate tensions with Tehran instead of identifying and pursuing clear policy goals. This has led to diminished U.S. influence in the region. Military escalation without a clearly defined strategy is irresponsible and hurts our national security interests.

“The Administration must also proffer evidence to show that this strike was warranted. The Administration has stated that Soleimani’s killing was necessary to prevent attacks against U.S. interests and personnel, but they have yet to show or even explain the evidence that led them to this conclusion.

“Finally, the Administration must follow the law. There can be and should be no military escalation without either a formal declaration of war or a specific congressional authorization for use of military force against Iran. Both options are constitutionally and legally within the power of Congress, not the executive.

“The President must articulate a clear strategy and show that there is evidence supporting his proposed actions, all within the boundaries of the law. He has thus far failed to do so.”