Bronx, NY—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, this evening made the following statement:
“Qasem Soleimani was the mastermind of immense violence, suffering, and instability. He had the blood of Americans on his hands and I won’t grieve his death. But many will consider him a martyr and I’m deeply concerned about the repercussions of tonight’s strike.
“Iran is the world’s most prolific state sponsor of terrorism. The regime in Tehran and its proxies have global reach that they may use to seek retribution for this strike, endangering the lives of Americans around the world. And we are now again on the brink of direct confrontation in the Middle East. Tonight’s action represents a massive escalation in our conflict with Iran with unpredictable consequences.
“Finally, this strike went forward with no notification or consultation with Congress. To push ahead with an action of this gravity without involving Congress raises serious legal problems and is an affront to Congress’s powers as a coequal branch of government. Even if this strike was in self-defense, no current congressional authorization covered it and the President needs to notify Congress within 48 hours pursuant to the War Powers Resolution. The law requires notification so the President can’t plunge the United States into ill-considered wars. We must also hear without delay from senior officials about this action and their plans to deal with the aftermath.”
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