U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, cautioned President Donald Trump from plunging the United States into yet another endless war in the Middle East following Iran’s ballistic missile attack at two military bases in Iraq where American troops are based. 

In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin also urged his colleagues to support a war powers resolution, introduced by Durbin and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) last week, to force a debate and vote in Congress to prevent further escalation of hostilities with Iran without congressional approval.

“Our first order of business must be the safety of our military and civilian personnel in Iraq and the region, and I call on the Trump Administration to make that the highest priority,” Durbin said.  “Another immediate requirement is that the Congress step up and play one of the most important and long neglected constitutional roles that we can envision.  Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution is clear in stating that the power to declare war is an explicit authority and power of Congress, as it should be.”

Durbin continued, “This Congress should not be a rubber stamp for President Trump’s worst instincts.  It’s time for this body to show some courage and do their constitutional jobs.  If you want a war with Iran, step up and face your constituents and record your vote accordingly… Ultimately, this President cannot start a war with Iran without the approval, under the Constitution, of Congress, and the Republican leadership should not roll over and play the role of lap dog when it comes to such a serious life-and-death matter.”