Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:

Today’s veto isn’t an attempt to deal with the threat Iran poses, but in my view another attempt to distract from the administration’s disastrous mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic. Iran is a serious threat to American security and stability around the world, and we need a serious policy that confronts Iranian aggression and deescalates tensions. Instead, with this veto, the President has again moved us closer to a war with Iran that the American people don’t want and that Congress has rejected on a bipartisan basis.

The President and his allies falsely claimed that attacking Iran was necessary to stop an imminent threat. When that house of cards fell apart, he chose to claim Congress authorized war with Iran 18 years ago, when it authorized the use of force against Saddam Hussain. It’s nonsense. If the President believes a war with Iran is in America's interest, he should make his case to Congress and the American people.

Vetoing this legislation does nothing to establish congressional authorization for the President's actions. Congress made clear that it has never authorized the President to use military force against Iran. Whether Congress overrides this veto or not, the President has no congressional authorization to attack Iran in the future.

# # #