Carper Statement on Seeking a Vote to Prevent War with Iran

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), released the following statement after opposing a motion to end debate on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. Senator Carper, along with other members, is seeking a vote on Senator Udall’s bipartisan Prevent Unconstitutional War with Iran Act, which would prevent the Trump Administration from taking military action against Iran without the approval of Congress. 

“Earlier this week, the Trump Administration announced its plans to send 1,000 troops to the Middle East without providing a clear justification for an increased presence in the region. Today, the Trump Administration tried, without evidence, to link Iran with the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, in what appears to be another attempt to sidestep Congressional approval of engagement of U.S. armed forces under the War Powers Act. Meanwhile, as experts predicted, the Trump Administration’s foolish decision to abandon the Iran Nuclear Deal with no alternative in place has increased instability in the region while increasing the odds of an armed conflict. And all of this has happened while we have been without a Senate-confirmed Secretary of Defense since December 2018.  

“With each day, the Trump Administration’s posture towards Iran is becoming ever more dangerous. It would be irresponsible and an abandonment of our constitutional authority for this chamber to vote to authorize defense funding for the coming year without debating and taking a vote on the most pressing defense issue of the day. The President says he doesn’t want war with Iran. I agree with him. While no one is seeking to tie the President’s hands when it comes to responding to legitimate threats from Iran, my amendment with Senator Udall would ensure that the President cannot unilaterally start a new ‘forever war’ in the Middle East without appropriate Congressional oversight. We should vote on an amendment to prevent an unconstitutional war with Iran before it’s too late.”