June 21, 2019

Udall Statement on President Confirming Planned Iran Strike Without Congressional Authorization

Calls for immediate vote on his NDAA amendment, supported by every Senate Democrat and gaining increasing bipartisan support

Udall: Trump should fire Bolton to change course from escalation and threat of unconstitutional use of force and return to diplomacy

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and lead sponsor of a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prevent an unauthorized war with Iran, issued the following statement after President Trump confirmed reports that he ordered and then abruptly cancelled a strike against Iran:  

“Last night, we were minutes from war: ten minutes from another war in the Middle East that Congress has not authorized and that the American people do not want. Thankfully, the president did not follow through – but we cannot trust him to hold off John Bolton and other administration officials who are brazenly pushing for war with Iran for long. Our Iran policy is in chaos, careening towards war and to change course the president should immediately fire John Bolton. Bolton’s long campaign for violent regime change has now pushed us to the brink -- and as these internal disagreements spill out into the open, we are only increasing the risk of grave miscalculation, confusing our allies, and reducing any possibility of de-escalation and diplomacy. 

“Making matters worse, the proposed attacks last night lack any Congressional authorization, nor has the full Congress been briefed on the unmanned downed drone. Under these circumstances, the Senate cannot continue to duck a vote on a potential war with Iran.  To do so represents nothing less than a total abdication of our constitutional duty. It has never been more urgent that Congress step up to the plate and take a vote on my bipartisan amendment to prevent an unauthorized war with Iran. Every Senate Democrat is ready to vote on it, and it continues to gain greater bipartisan support. Majority Leader McConnell needs to let us vote as soon as the Senate returns, before it’s too late.”