Michigan lawmakers divided over killing of Iranian general

January 03, 2020, 9:26 AM by  Violet Ikonomova

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)

Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13)

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)

Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI-11)



Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI-03)

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI-06)

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI-02)

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. 

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