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Michigan members of Congress want to know what happens next in conflict with Iran

Caleb Fisher

Members of Michigan’s congressional delegate want more information about what happens next after a military strike this week that killed a top Iranian general. 

President Donald Trump says the targeted killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was ordered because he was "plotting to kill" many Americans. Trump said Friday in his first comments on the killing of the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, that Soleimani was also responsible for killing and wounding "thousands" of Americans and many more in the region.   

The deadly U.S. strike in Iraq marked a major escalation in the conflict between Washington and Iran. Iran has vowed "harsh retaliation."

After the military strike, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) tweeted “The actions taken by the Trump Administration demonstrate that the United States will hold Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, accountable.”

Other Michigan Republicans agreed.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) tweeted that “For some time now, Iran has been poking the bear and had to expect that there would be a consequence.” Upton says he looks forward to hearing more from the administration next week when Congress returns to Washington. 

While agreeing Soleimani was linked to violence against Americans, Michigan Democrats express concern about what happens next.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) is a former CIA analyst and Shia militia expert who served three tours in Iraq focusing on Iranian-backed militias.

“I watched friends and colleagues get hurt or killed by Iranian rockets, mortars and explosive devices that were provided to Iraqi proxies and used against U.S. forces under Soleimani’s guidance,” Slotkin said in a written statement.

“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? 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,” added Slotkin.

Slotkin says the president should seek Authorization for the Use of Military Force from Congress before escalating further with Iran.  

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) is concerned members of Congress were not consulted before this week’s military strike.

“The American people are owed a plan by the administration on how the President plans to deescalate this dangerous situation and prevent this attack from spiraling into greater conflict that could result in more American casualties or troop deployments,” says Kildee.

Rep. Andy Levin(D-Bloomfield Township) says war with Iran can still be averted.

“I do not accept that we are at war with Iran because the congress has not said so,” says Levin. “That’s who declares war under our constitution.”

Levin wants Congress to act next week on his legislation to clarify the law governing Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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