Michigan lawmakers are divided over President Donald Trump's authorization of a drone strike that took out a top Iranian leader, sparking widespread fear that it could pull the U.S. into another protracted war in the Middle East.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) said on Twitter that Congress must say "no to war with Iran" shortly after news of the death of Qassem Suleimani broke Thursday. She warned the attack "recklessly moves us closer to yet another unnecessary war that puts innocent lives at risk at home & across the globe."
The remainder of Michigan lawmakers in Washington have either applauded the attack, condemned Suleimani but chastised Trump for failing to seek Congressional approval for it, or stayed silent.
The Pentagon has said Suleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and servicemembers in Iraq and throughout the region." It did not provide evidence to back that claim.
Iran has promised revenge for the killing.
Here are the Michigan lawmakers who've spoken out:
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
My statement on last night’s airstrike in Iraq: pic.twitter.com/njfaddXrj6— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) January 3, 2020
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)
Tonight’s strike took a notorious terrorist off of the battlefield. What comes next is critical for the region and the world. I am focused on ensuring that there is a strategy to protect our citizens, servicemembers, and diplomats, and that advances our national security.— Senator Gary Peters (@SenGaryPeters) January 3, 2020
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13)
We cannot stay silent as this lawless President recklessly moves us closer to yet another unnecessary war that puts innocent lives at risk at home & across the globe. Congress alone has the authority to declare war, & we must reclaim our responsibility & say no to war with Iran.— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) January 3, 2020
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-08)
Slotkin, in an emailed statement, said that as a former Shia militia analyst who served in Iraq and worked under both Presidents Bush and Obama, she participated "in countless conversations on how to respond to Qassem Soleimani’s violent campaigns across the region.”
“What always kept both Democratic and Republican presidents from targeting Soleimani himself was the simple question: Was the strike worth the likely retaliation, and the potential to pull us into protracted conflict? The two administrations I worked for both determined that the ultimate ends didn’t justify the means. The Trump Administration has made a different calculation,” Slotkin added.
“The Iranian government has vowed to retaliate and avenge Soleimani’s death, and could do so in any number of ways: against our diplomats and service members or high-ranking military officers, against our allies and partners in the region, or through targeted attacks in the Western world. It is critical that the Administration has thought out the moves and counter-moves this attack will precipitate, and is prepared to protect our diplomats, service members, and citizens serving overseas.”
“This Administration, like all others, has the right to act in self-defense,” Slotkin added. "But the Administration must come to Congress immediately and consult. If military engagement is going to be protracted -- which any informed assessment would consider -- the Administration must request an Authorization for the Use of Military Force."
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12)
“Qasem Soleimani was an evil man responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people. However, I deeply fear the consequences of this action, which was made without consulting Congress, or our allies and partners in the region. Congress must be briefed on the Administration’s strategy, and we must be prepared for an almost certain escalation of activities and conflict in the Mideast, as well as the safety of Americans throughout the world.
“We must act as Americans, not as Democrats and Republicans in understanding the situation, protecting America and safeguarding our national interests, allies and partners. Any escalation of US military involvement requires Congressional authorization, and the Administration must come to Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force as required by the Constitution.”
Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI-09)
There is no question that Qasem Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. I feel no sadness at the news of his death. But I have serious concerns about this President’s execution of a potential act of war without authorization of Congress. https://t.co/B2ZLYikIzh— Rep. Andy Levin (@RepAndyLevin) January 3, 2020
Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI-11)
Soleimani was responsible for killing and terrorizing American soldiers, diplomats, and civilians, in addition to allies in the region, for many years. According to Pentagon reports, he was continuing to orchestrate and plan attacks on U.S. diplomats & officials overseas.— Rep. Haley Stevens (@RepHaleyStevens) January 3, 2020
Americans do not want war with Iran and I am concerned about the consequences of these very serious developments. I expect Congress to be briefed in full about this operation and for the Administration to clearly explain its broader diplomatic strategy for the region.— Rep. Haley Stevens (@RepHaleyStevens) January 3, 2020
Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI-03)
There’s a reason our Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war: Every American may be intimately affected by a violent conflict. Soleimani was evil. But our system demands consent for war from the people, acting through their representatives and senators in Congress.— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 3, 2020
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI-06)
For some time now, Iran has been poking the bear and had to expect that there would be a consequence.— Fred Upton (@RepFredUpton) January 3, 2020
Qassem Soleimani was the ring leader responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. military officials and was likely planning more...
When Teddy Roosevelt was President, he worked to establish respect for the United States and our strength around the world. The world once again witnessed that strength in taking out an evil man. When our people and our interests are attacked, the United States should swat back.— Fred Upton (@RepFredUpton) January 3, 2020
Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI-02)
For years Iran has killed American troops and conducted terror operations throughout the Middle East and beyond. The actions taken by the Administration demonstrate that the United States will hold Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, accountable.— Rep. Bill Huizenga (@RepHuizenga) January 3, 2020
Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI-05)
"Every foreign policy action we take has potential life-and-death consequences, and we must consider the short and long-term repercussions of such actions," the chief deputy whip of the House Democratic Caucus says in a statement.
"I am concerned that the Trump Administration conducted these air strikes killing high-level Iranian military officials without an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran. Congress was also not consulted. . . .
"The American people are owed a plan by the administration on how the President plans to deescalate this dangerous situation and prevent this attack from spiraling into greater conflict that could result in more American casualties or troop deployments. The American people do not want war with Iran."
Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI-01)
Several outstate Republican representatives were quiet on social media. Detroit area Reps. Haley Stevens and Brenda Lawrence had not issued statements by early Friday afternoon, and their offices did not did not immediately return requests for comment.