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Pingree: Presidential War Powers Need Tightening In Wake Of Iranian General's Killing

Ed Morin
Maine Public file

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District says Congress should place further restraints on the power of a president to conduct war.

Pingree says the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, one of Iran’s top military figures and leader of its special-operations forces, was a mistake that previous presidents did not make.

“This was considered by the Bush Administration, by the Obama Adminstration and always decided that this was not the way to move forward,” she says.

Pingree says in this case, Congress should use what power it has to restrain the president.

“I think it’s important the Congress use the power of the purse to attempt to stop allowing him to have funding for this. I think we have to take a strong stand,” she says.

Meanwhile, Pingree says she agrees with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Congress should strengthen the War Powers Act to require a president to consult with Congress prior to actions that could be considered the waging of war.

Originally published Jan. 7, 2020 at 5:29 p.m. ET.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.