'This was an act of war': Lawmakers react to Iran's missile strike on US military bases
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers quickly reacted after Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at U.S. troops and coalition forces in Iraq on Tuesday, an apparent retaliation for a U.S. drone strike days earlier that killed one of Tehran's most powerful generals, Qasem Soleimani.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was gathered with Democrats discussing impeachment and the House’s agenda Tuesday evening when a staff member brought in a note, informing her of the strike.
Pelosi paused, told members what had happened and said “we’ve got to pray,” according to Rep. Debbie Dingell who was present for the meeting.
“She's a Catholic woman like me,” Dingell said. “We all care deeply about our military men and women that are serving this country.”
Soon after, Pelosi tweeted that she was "Closely monitoring the situation following bombings targeting U.S. troops in Iraq. We must ensure the safety of our servicemembers, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence. America & world cannot afford war."
Vice President Mike Pence briefed top Democrats in Congress on the Iranian strikes, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The New York Democrat did not release a statement Tuesday night, but spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, saying that "We commend the professionalism and bravery of our service members and other personnel in harm’s way."
He continued that he condemns "the attack by the Iranian government and remain concerned about the risk of a further escalation of hostilities in the Middle East."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was briefed by the White House tonight, too, and tweeted that "we must be united in the fight against terrorism and those who would do our country harm. America’s full support is with our courageous service men and women standing the watch."
"With reports of missile strikes launched by Iran against U.S. bases in Iraq, my thoughts and prayers are with our service members, diplomats and other personnel at risk, and with their families," Judiciary Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., tweeted.
On Fox News, Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., stated that he "just got off the phone" with Trump about the situation and that if Iran continues "this crap" they are "going to wake up one day out of the oil business."
“This was an act of war, Sean, by any reasonable definition,” Graham continued, before declaring that “the President has all the authority he needs under Article II to respond. How he responds is yet to be determined.”
Republican Senator Rand Paul, who has been critical of the airstrike and escalation against Iran, tweeted that he is "praying for the safety of our troops in Iraq tonight. While I would have preferred they come home long ago, there is also no excuse for this action by Iran."
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted that "#Iran is now openly calling for American’s to turn on each other. The time will come to debate U.S. policy. Tonight American & allied troops have come under direct attack by a nation-state & Americans must come together to support & protect them & respond appropriately."
Both Sens. Kamala Harris, D-CA, and Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, tweeted they were monitoring the situation and thinking of the servicemembers.
"For everyone’s sake, I pray there are no casualties and that #Iran does not continue its escalation," Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., posted.
Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted that "War doesn’t have a reset button, I learned this lesson at the age of Eight. Lives will be lost, many innocent lives will be lost and the future of generations will be impacted. Let’s call for peace."
Speaking at a 2020 campaign rally tonight in Brooklyn, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts stated, "At this moment, my heart and my prayers are with our military and with their families in Iraq and all around the world. This is a reminder why we need to deescalate tension in the Middle East. The American people do not want a war with Iran."
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., tweeted, "As we pray for our troops & civilians, there is still no coherent strategy from @realDonaldTrump. The White House can't adequately answer simple questions like, what are our goals with Iran? Did a drone strike advance those goals? Does Iraq voting us out advance those goals?"