Washington D.C.—Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke on the House Floor in opposition to the Democrats’ dangerous War Powers resolution. 

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-Remarks as Delivered-

“I am strongly in favor of exercising our Article I authorities for matters as grave as war and peace. But the fact is that we are not at war with Iran and the President is not trying to start a war with Iran. I met with the president earlier today, he told me that if this resolution passes, it will take all of his power to negotiate with Iran off the table, and that is the worse thing that we could do. Yesterday, he called for making a deal that allows for Iran to thrive and prosper. The president is making the choice to move towards de-escalation.

“The premise of this resolution is flawed because we are not engaged in hostilities with Iran. The President is not trying to start hostilities with Iran. Despite this public proclamation by our President, my colleagues are trying to claim that the president wants to go to war. I deeply regret that my colleagues are not serious enough about exercising our Article I authorities to pursue regular order on such a serious question. We have had no hearings in the House Foreign Affairs Committee since these events transpired.

“There was no Foreign Affairs Committee mark up of this legislation. I received text of this legislation only 2 hours before the Rules Committee meeting last night, on a war powers resolution. Debating issues of war and peace is perhaps our most important responsibility as Members of Congress, and yet this legislation was dropped last night without Committee consideration as required by the War Powers Resolution. If my colleagues were serious about Article I, as they say they are, this would be a joint resolution with the force of law.

“Instead it is a House Concurrent Resolution that will never go to the President’s desk. Let me translate what that means for the American people listening today – today we are voting on a press release, a press statement. This is a political statement for a left wing, domestic audience. But they are not the only ones watching, Mr. Speaker.

“Iran is watching, and its proxies are also watching. And what they see is a divided America that does not fully support the ability of our commander in chief to respond to imminent threats to Americans. Churchill warned against appeasement when the dark clouds of fascism and the Third Reich swept in, my father’s war. “Weakness invites aggression,” he said. And as President Reagan said, “Peace through Strength.” I believe in these ideals and these axioms.

“Last May, it was reported that Soleimani met with Iraqi militias in Baghdad and told them to “prepare for proxy war.”Without last week’s strike, Soleimani would still be waging that proxy war. A war that he was escalating. An American was killed less than two weeks ago, and four American soldiers were injured. And our Embassy in Baghdad was attacked under Soleimani’s orders. What more do we need? What more evidence do we need? And let’s talk about the fact that he’s a designated terrorist under the Obama Administration.

“Importantly, the president told me today that Soleimani was planning to blow up our Embassy. I need no further proof or evidence in that or intelligence than that from the president of the United States. And what if the President had not acted? Let’s assume that. And by the way, some on the other side of the aisle were criticizing him for not responding after our embassy was attacked. What if he did not act? What if Soleimani made it back to Tehran to meet with the Ayatollah to give the green light to carry out the plot to attack our soldiers and diplomats in Iraq?

“What if the Americans were killed? What if they killed our soldiers and diplomats? What if they had successfully stormed our American Embassy and held our Marines and Diplomats hostage like they did in 1979, when this whole reign of terror started, with Jimmy Carter in the White House? How would the critics of the President respond then, if he had done nothing? How would the American people respond? How would the Gold Star Mothers respond?

“No, the President, this President, did the right thing to take out this threat that killed so many Americans. I’ve been to too many funerals and many of us in this chamber have, and many of those soldiers were killed at the bloody hands of Soleimani. As many Americans whose families still grieve today, we grieve with them. Since 1979, Iran has presided over a reign of terror in the region. And for over two decades Soleimani has been the mastermind of terror, and the world is safer today without him.

“Let me just conclude by saying, now is not the time, now is not the time to divide this nation and play into the propaganda of Iran. Now is the time not Commander in Chief’s hands, now is the time to support men and women in uniform.”