DENVER (CBS4)– Both a Republican and Democratic member of Colorado’s Congressional delegation have a similar message after an attack on an Iranian government official. If the attack leads to war, they say, it is Congress’ call.
Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, was an army paratrooper with 82nd Airborne Division when it was deployed to Iraq after 9/11. The Trump administration sent 3,500 soldiers with the same division to Kuwait this week.
“The last thing we need right now is another war and a war with Iran that would destabilize the entire region and suck us into conflict for years to come. I don’t think it’s in our national interests,” said Crow.
Crow wants to know what the president’s endgame is. He said the country needs an overall strategy in the Middle East that includes our allies, “One thing I learned in the Middle East, through my combat deployments there, you just can’t use force without some end goal in mind.”
While Crow agrees that the Iranian government official President Donald Trump targeted — Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani — was dangerous, he said blowing up an Iraqi airport to kill him has ramifications.
“The question then becomes, was this the right response?” asked Crow.
As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Crow has asked for a classified briefing to see the intelligence that prompted the President to order the attack unilaterally, something he is authorized to do if there is an imminent threat. He also introduced an amendment in July that prohibits federal funds from being used for military force against Iran without Congress approval.
Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican who represents Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, said he has no doubt the president’s action was warranted, “I think it was clear we needed to send a signal to Iran after a number of incidents and I’m glad he did what he did.”
Buck said after militants invaded our embassy and killed an American contractor in a rocket attack, the president had the authority to order the strike, without Congress approval, “Congress can keep a secret about three seconds.”
But, as co-founder of the War Powers Caucus, Buck said a declaration of war is different.
“If he intends to maintain a long term aggressive posture towards Iran, he needs to come to Congress and we need to authorize that,” said Buck.
Gov. Jared Polis’s office said it is not aware of any ground or Colorado Air National Guard troops from the state that have been deployed in response to the strike.