Statement
For Immediate Release: 
January 9, 2020
Contact Info: 
Annaliese Davis 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in support of a War Powers Resolution limiting the President’s military actions regarding Iran. Below are excerpts of his remarks and a link to the video. 
 
 
Click here to watch the video.
 
“I want to thank Representative Slotkin for authoring this resolution as well as Chairman Smith, Chairman Engel, Representative Khanna, Representative Lee, and others who have been working hard to ensure that Congress maintains its role as a co-equal branch of government when it comes to matters of war and peace.”

“This President, as we have seen, has consistently treated the legislative branch as inferior to the executive... Again and again, we have seen this President ignore Congress' directives on appropriations, including by shifting money away from the military to fund his costly and ineffective border wall. He's refused to disburse emergency funding for disaster relief that Congress allocated to help the people of Puerto Rico and other places where Americans are in need of help. And he withheld Congressionally appropriated funding to help Ukraine repel Russian terrorism. After criticizing his predecessor for the use of executive orders, President Trump has doubled down on using them to circumvent the will of Congress and the American people.”

“Now, with the actions taken last week, he's unilaterally moving us toward involvement in another deadly, destabilizing war in the Middle East.”

“…However, the Congress has, under law and our Constitution, a remedy to reassert our position as a co-equal branch, as a matter of fact, an Article I branch, [and] ensure, as the Founders intended, that only the Congress, speaking on behalf of all of the people, could declare war… Congress passed the War Powers Act in 1973 determined to ensure that no President can send our troops into war without the people's representatives authorizing it… We must use this tool of Congressional power or by our silence acquiesce to the growth of the imperial presidency.”

“This is not a partisan resolution. This is a resolution consistent with the Constitution of the United States of America…”

“…No one laments the loss of Soleimani’s life, at least in this country and freedom loving people throughout the world, and we are relieved the Iranian counterstrike was limited and caused no American or allied casualties. But, Mr. Speaker, my constituents and the American people are deeply concerned about what comes next with the possibility of further retaliation and escalation from Iran or its proxies. There may be a time when such action is called for. But it is this body that needs to make that decision and the United States Senate. This body.”

“Iran is a dangerous enemy of freedom and a sponsor of terror. It continues to harbor ambitions of dominance over its neighbors and to call for the destruction of Israel. This Iranian regime is no friend and must not be trusted. Iran must never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon. I believe this Congress would vote to ensure that that was prohibited. This resolution makes those facts clear.”

“We must have a sound, long-term strategy to deal with Iran and bring it into compliance with international laws and norms. The threat of military force must continue to be a part of any strategy along with sanctions and diplomacy and this resolution in no way contravenes that premise.”

“The best way forward is for Congress and the Administration to work together. That's what our Founders had in mind… This resolution is brought to this Floor of the House to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, and to again urge this President, as we have urged Democratic presidents, to ensure that they follow the strictures of our Constitution on behalf of the safety of our people and the respect we have throughout the world. We're a nation of laws. This resolution is about the laws.”