WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the below statement following his vote in favor of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would prohibit funds from being used for military operations against Iran without explicit authorization from Congress:
“The Trump Administration has chaotically and irresponsibly escalated tensions with Iran by marching our country to the brink of an unauthorized war. Instead of smart and strategic diplomacy, this Administration has taken a number of confrontational steps since its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, leaving us with fewer diplomatic channels to de-escalate tensions and isolated from our allies.
“Let’s be clear, an unauthorized war with Iran will have disastrous ramifications for our nation — Congress must step up and put a check on this president. The American people have been clear too — they don’t want another costly, unnecessary, and endless war, which is why it is critical that Congress exercise our war powers authority.
“Article 1, Section 8 says that ‘the Congress shall have the power to declare war.’ Not the President or his Administration’s irresponsible national security team. Congress. Today, a bipartisan coalition and majority of the Senate stood up for those constitutional powers. If the President believes it is in the national interest to lead American troops and our nation into a war with Iran, he should make the case before the American people, instead of turning a blind eye to the will of the people.”
Authorizing the use of military force is the most important vote that any Member of Congress can take. Booker has long been an advocate for Congress’s need to reclaim its war making authority and has consistently called for a check on endless wars and military engagements through new AUMFs for U.S. operations in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Niger, and Somalia, among others.