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Cunningham Statement in Opposition to War Powers Resolution on Iran

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Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01) released the following statement on his vote in opposition to the War Powers Resolution the House of Representatives passed this week:

“The safety and security of American lives at home and abroad is my top priority in Congress. The authoritarian regime in Iran is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American servicemembers and continues to provide critical support for terrorist groups that target Americans and make the world less safe. And while Qassem Soleimani—the architect of Iran’s deadly campaigns—has been killed, it is important that we acknowledge that his proxies are still at large and continue to pose a serious threat to America and our allies.

I support the President’s decision to de-escalate tensions in the wake of Iran’s retaliatory attack Tuesday night. This is the right outcome for all parties involved, and as long as this posture continues, we should avoid sending the message that Congress is not behind the Commander-in-Chief as he tries to prevent further escalation with Iran. This is why I voted in opposition to today’s resolution. I also support the Administration’s commitment to work with our allies to ensure Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon and ceases its support of terrorist activities.

Congress and the American people still need to hear more from the Administration about the intelligence that led to the operation against Soleimani and how recent actions fit into our broader strategy in the region. No one wants another endless war in the Middle East. Over the last two decades, Congress has permitted the Executive Branch under three different administrations to use and abuse an 18-year-old Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) with no clear regional exit strategy. The time is long overdue for Congress to hold a robust, public debate with regard to whether we need an updated AUMF tailored to the current global threat landscape.”

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