WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Democratic Maryland lawmakers are blasting the Trump administration’s decision to launch an airstrike that killed a top Iranian military official in Iraq earlier this week.
The strike killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of an elite Iranian military force, and has led to concern over how Iran will respond. After the news was announced Thursday night, #WorldWar3 was trending on Twitter.
At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 3, 2020
Friday, Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger said he’s concerned that Congress wasn’t asked for authorization prior to the strike.
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“This action is the latest in a dangerous and reckless pattern from a Commander in Chief who refuses to accept Congress as a coequal branch of government and whose foreign policy strategy changes daily,” Ruppersberger said in a statement. “President Trump campaigned on a pledge to disengage in the Middle East – but this action will necessitate involvement for what’s likely years to come.”
Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen echoed Ruppersberger’s comments, calling the strike “a pivotal and dangerous moment for America.”
This is a pivotal and dangerous moment for America. The Constitution makes clear that a president may not go to war without authorization from Congress and we have not authorized war with Iran.
— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) January 3, 2020
“The Constitution makes clear that a president may not go to war without authorization from Congress and we have not authorized war with Iran,” Van Hollen tweeted.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement that Soleimani’s death “should be welcomed by all who support peace and oppose terrorism,” but called the strike “impulsive.”
“This event (…) continues the impulsive and episodic actions emblematic of President Trump’s foreign and military policy,” Hoyer said in a statement. “The Administration must take immediate steps to protect our personnel and facilities in anticipation of an Iranian counterstrike. Moreover, this strike raises serious concerns that the Administration did not seek Congressional authorization of military actions abroad that will put Americans in harm’s way.”
Maryland’s lone Republican congressman Andy Harris did not issue a statement about the strike or post about it on his official social media profiles as of Friday night.
President Trump retweeted multiple messages in support of the strike Friday and wrote that “Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more…but got caught!”