Michigan’s Rep. Elissa Slotkin takes the lead on the Democrats’ response to military action in Iran.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) will lead the effort in the House to limit the president’s military action in Iran, following a U.S airstrike on Jan. 3 that killed Qassem Soleimani, a high ranking official in Iran’s armed forces.
Soleimani’s assassination has escalated tensions with Iran and may result in massive foreign policy implications. In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to House Democrats saying they will vote on a war powers resolution later this week. That bill would limit the president’s power to take military action against Iran by mandating that military hostilities end if no further congressional action is taken.
Before being elected to Congress in 2018, Slotkin was a CIA analyst and worked alongside the U.S. military during three tours in Iraq, where she served as a Shia militia expert. In a statement she said it is “critical that the administration has thought out the moves and counter-moves this attack will precipitate, and is prepared to protect our diplomats, service members, and citizens serving overseas.”
Slotkin’s experience gave her insight into why, after decades of watching Soleimani gain power, former President Bush and Obama chose to not target him directly.
“What always kept both Democratic and Republican presidents from targeting Soleimani himself was the simple question: Was the strike worth the likely retaliation, and the potential to pull us into protracted conflict?” Slotkin tweeted. “The two administrations I worked for both determined that the ultimate ends didn’t justify the means. The Trump Administration has made a different calculation.”
Pressure has been mounting in the Middle East after a militia group attacked an Iraqi military base and wounded several American and Iraqi personnel and killing an American contractor, according to the Defense Department. The American embassy in Baghdad was also attacked.
In response, U.S. airstrikes killed Soleimani, who had served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and was commander of the Quds Force, a branch of the Iranian armed forces that specializes in clandestine and extraterritorial military operations. Iran has vowed revenge, and the Iraqi parliament has since voted in favor of expelling U.S. troops.
Clarification: The post has been updated to clarify that the limitation of powers is specific to Iran.