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No war with Iran

We are in a dangerous moment.

Without authorization by Congress, the president ordered the assassination of a senior military leader of Iran on Iraqi territory. There is no question that General Soleimani has been involved in plotting lethal attacks on Americans. But there is plenty of uncertainty about whether this act strengthens or hurts American security.

President Trump claims that his purpose was to deter future attacks on Americans. I fear that it may well have the opposite effect—triggering additional attacks, potentially destabilizing the government of Iraq, and driving escalation to the launch of another poorly calculated war in the Middle East.

Our country should never just fall into a war. Our Constitution is clear: The power to go to war rests with Congress, not the president. We must insist that the Constitution be honored.

One reason I refused to support the president's military spending bill last month was that it dropped an amendment blocking the president from launching an unauthorized war with Iran. I had fought for this amendment—which had passed the House with bipartisan support—because restoring Congress's constitutional role is essential to our security. It must be the American people, through their representatives, who decide when our sons and daughters go to war.

Now, after breaking the nuclear deal and months of saber rattling, President Trump and the war hawks he has surrounded himself with have put America at the brink of war with Iran.

Iran is a dangerous foe, and we need a strong, thoughtful policy to meet the challenges it poses to American security. But American lives are too precious to let a reckless president with reckless plans start another war in the Middle East.

Senator Jeff Merkley

Posted on January 3, 2020.

Born in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, Jeff Merkley has never lost touch with his working class roots.

As a U.S. Senator, he works every day to create opportunity for working families, stop the corruption of our democracy, and tackle the climate crisis.

A workhorse and a progressive champion, Jeff Merkley is leading a movement to get our country back on track.

Meet Jeff

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