GOP lawmaker: New sanctions provide 'offramp' from rising US-Iran tensions

Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Lawmakers to roll out legislation reorganizing State cyber office House Republicans gear up for conference meeting amid party civil war MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday praised President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE for de-escalating tensions with Iran by focusing on sanctions instead of further hostilities.

“I think we’re going to go in the direction of increasing maximum economic pressure on the Iranian regime,” Gallagher, who is an Iraq War veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee, told Hill.TV.

“When the dust settles, if what we’re left with is Trump has taken Qassem Soleimani off the battle field and the Iranians have done very little in response, that’s a massive win for the administration,” he added.

During an address to the nation on Wednesday morning, Trump said he would be imposing new “punishing” sanctions against Tehran following missile attacks on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.

“No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime,” Trump said before adding that Tehran “appears to be standing down.”

The president's comments come less than a week after he ordered an airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The move was characterized as a defensive measure by the Trump administration, though Democrats have dismissed it as an unnecessary provocation.

“We must ensure the safety of our service members, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence," Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Democrats deals to bolster support for relief bill | Biden tries to keep Democrats together | Retailers fear a return of the mask wars Here's who Biden is now considering for budget chief Biden urges Democrats to advocate for rescue package MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday night in a tweet following the Iran strike directed at U.S. troops.

—Tess Bonn