TOP LINE: Speaker Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution is a press release designed to attack President Trump, which has no binding effect and cannot be signed into law. This resolution only wastes our valuable time, plays politics with our national security, and damages our ability to protect American lives and interests in the Middle East.
Qassem Soleimani was the world’s most notorious and brutal terrorist. He was directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops.
QUICK FACTS ON THE STRIKE
- On January 2, 2020, our military took defensive action to protect U.S. personnel by killing Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
- In the week prior, Soleimani directed attacks on bases in Iraq that killed an American citizen and the terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
- Soleimani was planning additional attacks on Americans in Iraq and across the region.
- General Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “I’ll stand by the intelligence I saw, that — that was compelling, it was imminent, and it was very, very clear in scale, scope…[Soleimani] was planning, coordinating, and synchronizing significant combat operations against U.S. military forces in the region and it was imminent… “
THE LEGALITY OF THE STRIKE
Courtesy of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
As Commander-In-Chief, the President has inherent Article II authority to defend the United States and our forces. He possessed the legal authority for the strike on Soleimani and complied with the 48-hour reporting requirements under the War Powers Resolution.
- ARTICLE II POWERS: Presidents of both parties have claimed the inherent Constitutional right to use U.S. military force without Congressional authoriza- tion in pursuit of an important U.S. national interest, such as defense of U.S. personnel or diplomatic facilities abroad, as long as that use of force is limited in nature, scope, and duration – as the strike on Soleimani was.
- 2002 AUMF: As additional authority, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien cited the 2002 AUMF that authorized the use of force “to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq.” This authorization has been used previously to address terrorist threats in Iraq, including by Obama to go after ISIS.
- Former Obama DHS Secretary and DoD General Counsel Jeh Johnson said: “Whether [Soleimani] was a terrorist or a general in a military force that was engaged in armed attacks against our people, he was a lawful military objective.”
- In 2011, then-Democrat Leader Pelosi claimed that President Obama did not require Congressional authorization for thousands of U.S. airstrikes inside Libya over several months to protect Libyan civilians, stating “I’m satisfied the President has the authority he needs.”
QUICK FACTS ON THE AFTERMATH
- No Americans were killed in Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes. Our military bases sustained minimal damage.
- President Trump reestablished escalation dominance.
- Iran fears our military and our determination to protect American lives in the region.
- This rogue regime of human rights abusers, hostage-takers, and terrorists is treading carefully after years of being bought off with pallets of cash and treated with kid gloves.
QUICK FACTS ON THE VOTE
- Speaker Pelosi announced House action before members were fully briefed by the Administration.
- A House concurrent resolution, as opposed to a joint resolution, has no force of law and cannot make it to the President’s desk.
- Supreme Court constitutional case law since 1983 has made clear that measures do not have the force of law unless they are formally presented to the President and subject to veto procedures, concurrent resolutions are not.
- This vote is, in essence, a press release.
- Democrats have rushed this resolution to the House Floor in less than 24 hours with no committee hearings or markups.
- The premise of the resolution is flawed – it calls for the termination of the use of U.S. Armed Forces against Iran, but U.S. Armed Forces are not currently engaged in hostilities against Iran.
- If this were a serious attempt to remove troops, Democrats would have drafted it as a bill or joint resolution to ensure a constitutional path to enactment, should Congress approve and the President sign.
- The resolution forbids the use of force against any part of Iran’s government or military, even if they are threatening or attacking American civilians, diplomats, shipping, or allies (including Israel or Saudi Arabia).
- The rule providing for consideration of H. Con. Res. 83 includes a provision to change House Rules to prevent any individual member from forcing a floor vote on directing the removal of troops from hostilities in Iran for the remainder of the 116th Congress and instead gives sole authority to Speaker Pelosi.
BOTTOM LINE: Democrats are essentially censuring President Trump for killing a notorious terrorist who was directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops.