Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) have announced a new bill that would block the Pentagon from funding U.S. military forces in or against Iran without congressional authorization.
“Today, we are seeing a dangerous escalation that brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East,” the two Democrats said in a joint statement on Friday night, Jan.3. “A war with Iran could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars and lead to even more deaths, more conflict, more displacement in that already highly volatile region of the world.”
“War must be the last recourse in our international relations. That is why our Founding Fathers gave the responsibility over war to Congress. Congressional inaction in the face of the threat of a catastrophic and unconstitutional Middle East conflict is not acceptable.”
Sanders and Khanna criticized other Congress members “authorizing a disastrous $738 billion military budget that placed no restrictions on this president from starting an unauthorized war with Iran.”
“Congress now has an opportunity to change course,” their statement said. “Our legislation blocks Pentagon funding for any unilateral actions this president takes to wage war against Iran without congressional authorization.”
“We know that it will ultimately be the children of working-class families who will have to fight and die in a new Middle East conflict – not the children of the billionaire class. At a time when we face the urgent need to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, to build the housing we desperately need, and to address the existential crisis of climate change, we as a nation must get our priorities right,” the two lawmakers said.
Congress has the power to change course and stop a war with Iran. @SenSanders and I are introducing legislation to block Pentagon funding for any unilateral actions this president takes to wage war against Iran without Congressional authorization.
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) January 4, 2020
Sanders and Khanna introduced the legislation one day after the Pentagon, under President Trump’s order, conducted an airstrike at the Baghdad airport in Iraq, killing Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and some other Iranian officials.
In his prompt reaction following the strike, Sen. Bernie Sanders took to Twitter at midnight on Jan. 2 saying, “Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars.”
Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars.
Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 3, 2020
Iranian officials threatened to retaliate against the United States following Soleimani’s death. Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said on CNN on Friday, “We can’t just close our eyes to what happened last night. Definitely there will be revenge, a harsh revenge.”
In response, President Trump on Saturday warned that the United States has set 52 Iranian sites at target of possible strikes if Iran attacks any American people or assets.