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Chairman McGovern Opens Debate on Iran War Powers Resolution

WASHINGTON Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) today managed the rule bringing H. Con. Res 83, Directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran, to the House Floor.

Excerpts from Chairman McGovern’s remarks are below, video of his full remarks is available here:

  • “Just a month ago, Iran was staring down some of the most intense anti-government protests in a decade. Thousands took to the streets in Tehran to express growing frustration and anger with their leaders. But what a difference a month makes! Protestors – men, women, and children – have again taken to the streets of Tehran. Only this time, their anger wasn’t directed at their own leaders – it was directed at the United States of America.”
  • “Rather than protect our national security and stabilize the region, President Trump’s reckless decision to strike Soleimani united Iran. It has led to retaliatory strikes on two bases used by U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. And it has put our troops and diplomats serving overseas in greater danger. Make no mistake, this decision has endangered all Americans, everywhere. Hardliners are emboldened. 4,000 more U.S. troops have deployed to the region. Operations against ISIS have been suspended. The Iraqi parliament has voted to kick American troops out of Iraq. All because of the brash decision of one man – the president of the United States.”
  • “With little evidence, the president claims his actions prevented an imminent threat. But M. Speaker, the American people have heard that one before. We remember the stories about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We remember the tens of thousands of American soldiers who paid the price for that deception. Madam Speaker, is this Congress going to sit by and allow that to happen in Iran? Or are we going to ensure this body acts before a war begins that could continue long after President Trump leaves office?”
  • “More than 4,000 of our brave men and women are now being sent to the Persian Gulf – all without any input from the people’s chamber! We represent the brave young men and women who are deploying to Kuwait; We represent those deploying to Iraq; And we represent those deploying elsewhere across the Middle East. Each of us speaks for them. And we speak for their families, who are scared sick as their loved ones receive orders to deploy. Madam Speaker, we must summon the courage to be their voice.”
  • “Make no mistake, the world is less safe because of President Trump’s chaotic foreign policy.”
  • “The president addressed the nation yesterday but failed to outline a clear path forward. The briefing we received only made me more concerned that there is no plan in place.”
  • “Matters of war and peace were never meant to be decided solely by a president holed up in the Oval Office. That’s true not just for President Trump, but for any president. I urge my colleagues to live up to the oaths we took. Follow the Constitution. And be the voices for the people we represent. In short – let’s do our jobs. I strongly urge a yes vote on the rule and the underlying resolution.”

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