News Releases

Following President Trump’s escalation of tensions with Iran last month, Senator Murray pushed for bill to re-assert Congressional authority in decisions of war 

Senator Murray: “Congress has an obligation to ensure a debate, we have an obligation to press this Administration for a strategy, and check its power if it doesn’t present a compelling one—which so far, it hasn’t”

ICYMI: “Look What History has Taught Us”: Senator Murray Speaks to NPR about Her Vote against the Iraq War and Escalating Tensions with Iran – More HERE

From January: Following Attack on U.S. Forces in Iraq, Senator Murray Demands Congress Have a Say in Decisions of War – MORE HERE 

***WATCH SENATOR MURRAY’S SPEECH HERE***

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) urged her colleagues to join her in supporting Senator Tim Kaine’s (D-VA) war powers resolution that would require the president to consult Congress before taking additional action that could embroil the U.S. in another foreign conflict. The resolution, as well as Senator Murray’s floor speech, come following President Trump’s recent escalation of tensions with Iran, including taking unilateral military action to kill Iran’s Qasem Soleimani, which prompted an Iranian missile attack on U.S. troops deployed in Iraq. The attack led to more than 100 U.S. servicemembers being diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Senator Murray called on her colleagues to support the bipartisan legislation, which is expected to be brought up for a vote on Thursday.

The daughter of a World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Senator Murray is a cosponsor of the war powers resolution, and voted against the 2002 authorization of military force that President Trump has used to justify his actions in the Middle-East and that the House of Representatives finally repealed two weeks ago. 

See some excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks below:

“I’m glad the President backed down and decided not to further escalate tensions in recent weeks—as a voice for my home state of Washington, including all of our servicemembers, and military families, and communities—but we’re not off the hook, and we have every reason to believe that Iran may retaliate again.”

“M. President, the American people expect their representatives, us, to have a say in decisions that may put their lives or the lives of a loved one at risk. And as the daughter of a WWII veteran and a Purple Heart recipient—here in the Senate I make decisions about our national security with deep concern for our brave servicemembers and their families, a personal understanding of the sacrifices they make for all of us and our nation, and an unwavering commitment to ensuring they have the support that they need while they serve and when they come home.”

“Passing this resolution is the first step toward protecting our servicemembers and our interests in the region by removing our troops from hostilities in or against Iran unless there is a declaration of war or Congressional authorization for the use of force.”

“In 2002, I voted against the war in Iraq because I felt the administration was asking us to send our men and women into harm’s way without clear plan or a goals, and last week, the House passed legislation to repeal that 2002 AUMF—which is a step in the right direction towards bringing our brave troops home. The Senate should stand up and assert our authority to represent our constituents on this critical issue, too, because as Senators, they are the people to whom we are all accountable to.”

“Congress has an obligation to ensure a debate, we have an obligation to press this Administration for a strategy, and check its power if it doesn’t present a compelling one—which so far, it hasn’t. Passing this War Powers resolution will help us do exactly that.”

Watch Senator Murray’s remarks HERE.

Read the full text of Senator Murray’s remarks below:

“M. President, I come to the floor today to strongly urge all of my colleagues to join Senator Kaine and I want to thank him for his extremely thoughtful and amazing approach to this. I think it’s so important that we reassert Congress’s authority in decisions concerning our nation’s security, and curbing this Administration’s ability to put our troops in harm’s way without consulting the American people.

“M. President, following the early January attack on U.S. troops deployed in Iraq—triggered by President Trump’s decision to launch a drone strike that killed Iran’s Qasem Soleimani…

“…I know many Americans were frightened—like I was—to watch tensions then with Iran escalate so rapidly, in real-time.

“I’m glad the President backed down and decided not to further escalate tensions in recent weeks—as a voice for my home state of Washington, including all of our servicemembers, and military families, and communities—but we’re not off the hook, and we have every reason to believe that Iran may retaliate again.

“Which is why I remain deeply disturbed by President Trump’s rush to incite conflict in ways that could have significant, negative impacts on our strategic goals in the region—and more importantly, the long-term safety and security of Americans at home and abroad.

“To date, neither President Trump nor his administration has provided any evidence to us here in Congress to justify his actions…

“And despite reports from the Administration shortly after the attack that there were no U.S. casualties, we are now learning that more than 100 servicemembers—one hundred—have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) following that attack—serious injuries that President Trump dismissed as simply “headaches.”

“M. President, the American people expect their representatives, us, to have a say in decisions that may put their lives or the lives of a loved one at risk…

“And as the daughter of a WWII veteran and a Purple Heart recipient—here in the Senate I make decisions about our national security with deep concern for our brave servicemembers and their families, a personal understanding of the sacrifices they make for all of us and our nation, and an unwavering commitment to ensuring they have the support that they need while they serve and when they come home.

“That’s exactly why our Constitution mandates that the power to declare war rests with Congress—not the Commander-in-Chief—because those decisions weren’t meant to be made by one person alone. 

“And that’s why I’m glad my friend from Virginia, Senator Kaine, is offering this war powers resolution, of which I am very proud to be a co-sponsor.

“Passing this resolution is the first step toward protecting our servicemembers and our interests in the region by removing our troops from hostilities in or against Iran unless there is a declaration of war or Congressional authorization for the use of force.

“And this isn’t just an issue for Democrats—I’m very proud this resolution has bipartisan support…

“Because no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, we should all agree that Congress must play a role in our nation’s foreign policy—as well as matters related to the health and safety of our servicemembers.

“I am grateful for all those serving in the Middle East and around the world…

“And that’s why I refuse to stand by and accept they could be put in jeopardy—or that our nation’s foreign policy and safety could be upended—by an impulsive, late-night tweet.

“So I will continue to demand the President provide his legal justification for the drone strike in Iraq…

“Commit to coming before Congress in advance of any further escalating steps…

“...and explain to us how he will move forward in the region with the goal of protecting Americans, our allies, and our interests.

“In the meantime—considering the unique recklessness of this Administration—it is urgently important for Congress to pass this resolution to block President Trump’s ability to start a war with Iran, and ensure that Congress is guaranteed the opportunity to hear whatever case the President may have before taking a vote to determine the path that we want our nation to go down.

“In 2002, I voted against the war in Iraq because I felt the administration was asking us to send our men and women into harm’s way without clear plan or a goals…

“And last week, the House passed legislation to repeal that 2002 AUMF—which is a step in the right direction towards bringing our brave troops home.

“The Senate should stand up and assert our authority to represent our constituents on this critical issue, too, because as Senators, they are the people to whom we are all accountable to.

“We have to be able to look them in the eye and say we gave questions as grave as decisions concerning war and peace the deliberation that they warrant, and that we’ve done everything we can to protect our nation and our servicemembers.

“M. President, you simply can’t do that if you allow this President or any President to continue conducting foreign policy by tweet—unchecked.

“So Congress has an obligation to ensure a debate, we have an obligation to press this Administration for a strategy, and check its power if it doesn’t present a compelling one—which so far, it hasn’t.

“Passing this War Powers resolution will help us do exactly that. 

“So I strongly urge our colleagues to support this resolution.

“Thank you, M. President—I yield the floor.”

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