President Trump doesn’t require approval from Congress to carry out any military action against Iran, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi is either “lying to the American public,” or doesn’t understand the Constitution, said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
The current resolution, said McCarthy to reporters at a press conference in the White House, is useless.
The president has every right to take any action required against Iran, and doesn’t need the approval of Congress to do so, said McCarthy, reported The Hill.
“Make no mistake, today’s war powers resolution cannot become law, by definition, it will never be sent to the president, and it will never limit his constitutional authority to defend the American people,” he told reporters at a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 9.
“This is a meaningless vote that only sends the wrong message that House Democrats would rather stand with the socialist base than stand against Iran,” he said.
McCarthy continued, “Well, first of all, they’re [Democrats] lying to the American public by concurrent resolution. It has no power. It has no power whatsoever. It’s equivalent to when we invite the soapbox derby to Capitol Hill.”
“So the speaker just stood before you, and either does not know the meaning of the Constitution, or she lied to you—I’m not sure which one it is. The idea that they want to curb the ability of the president to react when more than 600 Americans have been killed, when our embassy has been attacked, when an American was killed and that was a red line.”
Speaking of the decision to eliminate terrorist leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani, with a precision strike, McCarthy said, “We have no illusions about Iran, no illusions about Soleimani—he was a terrible person, did bad things. But it’s not about how bad they are, it’s about how good we are.”
“What do you say to all the Gold Star families? Did you listen to what the speaker just said? That Soleimani was a bad person, but—there is no but. He’s a bad person because he kills American soldiers, he’s a bad person because he led against the embassy, he’s a bad person because he went after the tankers, he’s a bad person because he bombed the refinery, he’s a bad person because he was planning more against the Americans,” he said.
“The president was right in his actions, and we are safer today for it. I think that part of what the Democrats are doing today is wrong,” he added.
Nancy Pelosi had earlier spoken with reporters, telling them, “We’re taking this path because it does not require a signature of the president of the United States,” she said at a press conference on Thursday morning. “This is a statement of the Congress of the United States, and I will not have that statement be diminished by whether the president will veto it or not.”
Two Republicans—Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah)—said they would support a similar measure introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in the Senate. However, most GOP lawmakers in the House are expected to oppose the resolution.