News & Politics

Graham to Democrats: 'You Don't Need' Congressional Approval to 'Defend Troops in the Field'

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington,Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pushed back against Democrats who have argued that the Trump administration should have sought congressional authorization for the airstrike that killed a top Iranian commander.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called the airstrike an “an act of war” that “risks the lives of millions.” She supports a War Powers Resolution to require Trump to “attain congressional approval” in advance of military action in the Middle East.

In response to Ocasio-Cortez, Graham said, “You do not need congressional authorization to defend troops in the field who are in harm’s away. AOC doesn’t know anything about the law of armed conflict, obviously. Every commander in chief has the right to defend our people on the battlefield. It was clear to me that this was a defensive strike — that Mr. Soleimani was planning additional attacks.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced that the House of Representatives will “vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran.”

“This resolution is similar to the resolution introduced by Senator Tim Kaine in the Senate. It reasserts Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days,” she wrote in a letter to Democrats on Sunday.

Graham said he would oppose a War Powers Resolution toward Iran.