STATEMENT: Sanders, Khanna Announce New Legislation to Block Funding for War with Iran
Washington, DC – Today, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) issued the following statement announcing the introduction of legislation to prohibit any funding for offensive military force in or against Iran without prior congressional authorization. The measure to restrict funds for such military activities passed by a bipartisan, 251-margin vote in the House of Representatives, but was later stripped from the National Defense Authorization Act adopted by Congress in December:
“Today, we are seeing a dangerous escalation that brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East. A war with Iran could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars and lead to even more deaths, more conflict, more displacement in that already highly volatile region of the world.
“War must be the last recourse in our international relations. That is why our Founding Fathers gave the responsibility over war to Congress. Congressional inaction in the face of the threat of a catastrophic and unconstitutional Middle East conflict is not acceptable.
“After authorizing a disastrous, $738 billion military budget that placed no restrictions on this president from starting an unauthorized war with Iran, Congress now has an opportunity to change course. Our legislation blocks Pentagon funding for any unilateral actions this president takes to wage war against Iran without Congressional authorization.
“We know that it will ultimately be the children of working-class families who will have to fight and die in a new Middle East conflict—not the children of the billionaire class. At a time when we face the urgent need to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, to build the housing we desperately need, and to address the existential crisis of climate change, we as a nation must get our priorities right. The House and Senate should pass our legislation immediately and uphold our constitutional responsibilities. We must invest in the needs of the American people, not spend trillions more on endless wars.”