Greg Hinz On Politics

Chicago-area Congress members divided over Middle East attack

President Trump's order to kill Iran's senior security and intelligence commander draws both praise and criticism, and lawmakers want to know what's next.

U.S. Capitol
Bloomberg

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79彩票注册网址Chicago-area members of Congress are reacting to President Donald Trump’s decision to kill a senior Iranian security and intelligence leader, and the responses are falling along familiar partisan lines.

The harshest criticism came from South Side Democrat U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, who called the “yet another obvious overreaction from a hyper-reactive imbecile who has been playacting as president. This is nothing more or nothing less than a response to his outrage over his impeachment. We fully expected him to react with retribution, vindictiveness and high risk, even war.”

79彩票注册网址At the opposite end, the only Republican in the area’s congressional delegation, Channanon’s Rep. Adam Kinzinger, lived up to his reputation as a military hawk.

“Mess with the bull, get the horns,” he tweeted, referring to reports that the Iranian commander targeted in today's attack, Major General Qassem Soleimani, was behind the recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. “Nice call, @realDonaldTrump.”

Most other area congressional lawmakers, all Democrats, were quick to condemn Soleimani’s actions but also expressed concern Trump acted without developing a full plan or considering possible ramifications.

79彩票注册网址“No American should grieve over the killing of Qassem Soleimani, a terrorist and war criminal responsible for hundreds of American deaths,” north suburban Rep. Brad Schneider said in a statement.  But, he added, “the president’s decision to escalate U.S. actions and attack a state actor may likely result in retaliatory steps from Iran or its proxy forces. . . .President Trump must directly communicate with Congress, with the American people and with our international partners to lay out a comprehensive, long-term American strategy.”

“I have grave concerns,” North Side Rep. Mike Quigley said in a statement. “Not only did President Trump fail to consult Congress before taking this action, he also clearly did not gauge the impact it would have on our allies.”

79彩票注册网址The attack became instant fodder in the 6th Congressional District in the western suburbs, where Democrat Sean Casten is trying to hold off likely GOP nominee Jeanne Ives.

79彩票注册网址“I, like many families in the 6th District, have sons in the military. This makes reports of our enemies attacking or actively planning attacks on U.S. troops all the more chilling,” Ives said. “Decisive leadership is imperative to ensuring our military are able to do what they do best: defend our national interests and defeat those who terrorize us, our partners and innocent civilians.” 

From Casten: “Soleimani was an enemy to America, but reckless action without a meaningful plan to navigate this dangerous and complicated threat will only lead to increased targeting of Americans abroad, including our troops. . . .It is imperative that administration officials immediately brief Congress on the situation and their plan to protect American citizens."

No word yet from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.

1:50 p.m. update: 

79彩票注册网址U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth now is out with a statement:

"There is no question that Iranian Major General Soleimani posed a threat to the free world, but there is also no question that the president—any president—does not have constitutional authority to draw the United States into a war without prior congressional approval," she said. "This solemn duty is solely for Congress to decide, but the Trump administration appears to have failed to inform the people’s representatives of his actions and, in doing so, may very well lead us to war. That’s unacceptable. Donald Trump owes it to our troops and to our constitution to follow the law.”

Says Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia:  “The killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by our military forces confirms our worst fears: President Trump may be provoking an international crisis and putting us on the brink of war to distract the country from his impeachment. This is wrong.”

But state Sen. Sue Rezin, one of several Republicans vying to take on incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood in the northwest suburban 14th District, is solidly with Trump.

"Trump did not beat his chest over the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. He simply said they will pay a heavy price,” she said. “Then he took incredibly brilliant action against their mastermind terrorist General Soleimani only two days later. This action will reverberate as an invaluable lesson to all our enemies around the world."

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