Senators Schumer and Gillibrand criticize airstrike

Senators Schumer and Gillibrand criticize airstrike
Capitol Building (Source: Martin Falbisoner / CC BY-SA 3.0)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWNY) - New York’s two Democratic senators, Chuck Schummer and Kirsten Gillibrand, are criticizing President Trump for ordering the American airstrike that killed Iran’s top general.

Schumer, who is also the senate minority leader, responded to the U.S. action saying he believes that President Trump does not have the authority for a war with Iran and that any large increase in troops or long-term hostilities will require congressional approval.

"The United States conducted an operation designed to kill Major General Qassem Soleimani, a notorious terrorist. No one should a tear over his death. The operation against Soleimani in Iraq was conducted, however, without specific authorization and any advanced notification or consultation from Congress. I'm a member of the Gang of Eight, which is typically briefed in advance on operations of this level of significance. We were not," said Schumer. "It is my view that the president does not have the authority for a war with Iran. If he plans a large increase in troops and a potential hostility over a longer time, the administration will require congressional approval and the approval of the American people."

Senator Gillibrand called President Trump's actions "impulsive" and moving the U.S. closer to war.

“Without seeking congressional authorization or presenting any coherent or clear strategy, President Trump ordered military action that may precipitate another armed conflict in the Middle East. Escalating military actions against Iran has put our service members and Americans abroad in grave risk of retaliation by Iran and its proxies. It is troubling that Americans serving our country have been put in harm’s way again because President Trump did not carefully consider the devastating consequences of war with Iran before ordering this strike," said Gillibrand. “President Trump must notify Congress immediately and seek authorization based on a clear explanation of the goals of military action, our adversaries and the countries where our service members would be sent into conflict. The Trump administration must brief Congress immediately on any military plans and what steps are being taken to safeguard Americans. And Congress must exercise its constitutional authority before it is too late.”

Schumer echoed Gillibrand's sentiments.

"The president's decision may add to an already dangerous and difficult situation in the Middle East. The risk of a much longer military engagement in the Middle East is acute and immediate. This action may well have brought our nation closer to another endless war. Exactly the kind of endless war the president promised that he would not drag us into," he said.

Meanwhile, north country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a Republican, applauded the Trump administration’s airstrike in Iraq.

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