On Thursday evening, it was announced that U.S. air strikes in Iraq had killed top Iran military commander General Qassem Soleimani. However, Mr. Trump has come under sharp criticism for not alerting the House and Senate before these actions took place – actions that could likely have large consequences for the U.S.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) slammed Trump for not alerting the top four leaders in Congress and the top four lawmakers on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees prior to the attack.
Schumer said on the Senate floor:
‘I’m a member of the Gang of Eight, which is typically briefed in advance of operations of this level of significance. We were not.’
Schumer also emphasized the fact that Trump must seek congressional approval before taking any broader military action. He said:
‘If he plans a large increase in troops and potential hostility over a longer time, the administration will require congressional approval and the approval of the American people.’
‘The framers of the Constitution gave war powers to the legislature and made the executive the commander in chief for the precise reason of forcing two branches of government to consult with one another when it came to matters of war and peace.’
The other members of the gang of eight include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and the chairmen and ranking members of the Intelligence committees in both chambers.
Pelosi has called on the Trump administration to brief congressional leaders immediately on this major escalation of hostilities with Iran.
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