In the wake of increased tensions between the United States and Iran after the killing of top Iranian military leader Qasem Suleimani, Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation on Friday that would block funding for any military action “in or against Iran” without congressional authorization.
The two sponsors, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., represent some of the most progressive wings of the Senate and House of Representatives.
“Today, we are seeing a dangerous escalation that brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East,” the two lawmakers said in a statement. “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.”
Congress on Iran: Democrats warn against ‘march’ to war with Iran after Trump orders killing of Qasem Soleimani
Framing their bill in terms of socioeconomic inequality, Sanders and Khanna urged their fellow lawmakers to pass their legislation because “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.”
More: Qasem Soleimani’s killing is the latest in Iran-US tensions: How we got here
President Donald Trump’s ordering of an airstrike on Soleimani’s convoy is the latest action in escalating tensions between the United States and Iran. Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations said Saturday “the response for a military action is military action,” sparking fears of a broader military conflict.
Democrats have urged caution about further escalation with Iran. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said late Thursday the world “cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return.”
Also on Friday, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., introduced a resolution to attempt to force a debate and vote in Congress on the use of military force against Iran.
“We’re now at a boiling point, and Congress must step in before Trump puts even more of our troops in harm’s way. We owe it to our servicemembers to have a debate and vote about whether or not it’s in our national interest to engage in another unnecessary war in the Middle East,” Kaine said in a statement.
Contributing: Kim Hjelmgaard
Iran ambassador to UN: ‘the response for a military action is military action’
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