GOP rep: Trump needs to retaliate against Iran to deter other hostile nations

GOP rep: Trump needs to retaliate against Iran to deter other hostile nations
© Greg Nash

The top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee said Friday that President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE must retaliate quickly against Iran to deter other hostile nations like North Korea and Russia from taking “provocative” acts toward the U.S.

Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersWashington's playing with a weak hand in the Ukraine crisis House GOP members introduce legislation targeting Russia over Ukraine Corporations seek to rebuild bridges with GOP objectors ahead of midterms MORE (R-Ala.) said that Trump already has the authority to launch strikes against Iran for shooting down a U.S. military drone this week and does not need to seek approval from Congress.

Trump “did consult with Congress as he was trying to decide what action to take, but when you have a country like Iran shoot down an American drone in international air space, I don’t think we need to have three months of argument in the Congress to decide what needs to be done,” Rogers said during an appearance on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“We have him as a commander in chief to make decisions like this. I don’t care if it's a Republican or Democrat; I felt the same way about Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhat does the Preamble to the Constitution have to do with Build Back Better? White House underscores action amid violent crime streak Biden frustration with Fox News breaks through surface MORE when he was president.”

“Now if we are going to get into a long-term war, it’s a different story,” Rogers added. “But he needs to take action in a quick manner. Whether it’s sanctions or a kinetic attack, he needs to make that call, but there has to be a response."

“Otherwise you’re going to see countries like North Korea, China and Russia becoming much more provocative in their actions toward us if they know we’re going to be paralyzed and unable to respond,” Rogers said.

Trump tweeted earlier Friday that the U.S. military was “cocked and loaded” and that he gave the green light to launch strikes against Iran. But the president said he abruptly called off the attack Thursday night because he feared the loss of life would not be “proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”

Democrats, including Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalDesperate Dems signal support for cutting Biden bill down in size Sanders, 50 Democrats unveil bill to send N95 masks to all Americans Centrist Democrats urge progressives to tamp down rhetoric MORE (D-Wash.) and Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeSenate candidate Gary Chambers discusses his opposition to criminalizing marijuana Treasury rolls out quarters featuring Maya Angelou, first Black woman on the coin A presidential candidate pledge can right the wrongs of an infamous day MORE (D-Calif.), have called on Trump to request a new authorization of use of military force (AUMF) from Congress before striking back at Iran.

But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyPress: Newt says lock 'em up – for doing their job!  The Hill's Morning Report - Biden, NATO eye 'all scenarios' with Russia On The Money — Support for new COVID-19 relief grows MORE (R-Calif.) and other Trump allies say the president has authority to act under the AUMF that Congress passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that granted presidents broad discretion to use force to combat terrorists.

McCarthy and other GOP leaders have called for a “measured” response, a point echoed by Rogers.

“There has to be some response to that provocative act, unprovoked act. But it does need to be measured, and that’s what the president is trying to decide now is whether it needs to be a kinetic strike like what was being planned or something in the way of other diplomatic approaches to put pressure on them,” Rogers said.

“I don’t know what his thinking is, but I do think he is going to make some response.”

Rogers, who also serves on the House Armed Services Committee, also lamented the imminent resignation of acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanProtection of critical military benefit shows bipartisanship can work Senators introducing bill to penalize Pentagon for failed audits Overnight Defense: National Guard boosts DC presence ahead of inauguration | Lawmakers demand probes into troops' role in Capitol riot | Financial disclosures released for Biden Pentagon nominee MORE.

This week, Shanahan decided to drop out of his confirmation process to permanently lead the Pentagon over domestic violence incidents involving his son, his wife and himself.

Rogers said it is “not helpful” to have acting secretaries leading the Pentagon, especially at a time when there are escalating conflicts with Iran and North Korea, and thousands of migrants are showing up on the southern border.

“I was concerned before this change that Secretary Shanahan was in an acting role. This is the largest organization on the planet; they need a confirmed secretary leading it,” Rogers said.

“I’m also very disappointed that Secretary Shanahan is resigning. He is a first-notch, top notch secretary, very competent, doing a great job, and I think it’s awful that he’s had to pull back to protect his family from what he was going through,” Rogers continued.

“We don’t need to have these acting secretaries in charge of these large organizations. It’s just not helpful at all." 

The interview with Rogers will air on C-SPAN at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET on Sunday.