Foreign Affairs chairman: US military intervention in Venezuela 'not an option'

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries Justice Democrats issues 3 new endorsements for progressive candidates MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday ruled out U.S. military intervention in Venezuela.

“I do worry about the president’s saber rattling, his hints that U.S. military intervention remains an option. I want to make clear to our witnesses and to anyone else watching: U.S. military intervention is not an option,” Engel said in his opening statement at a hearing on the political situation in Venezuela.

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Rep. Bill KeatingWilliam (Bill) Richard KeatingBottom Line Foreign Affairs chairman: US military intervention in Venezuela 'not an option' Seniors are big winners in House elections MORE (D-Mass.) asked Elliot Abrams, the United States' special representative for Venezuela, about whether other countries have discussed using military force in the country. Abrams said that he could not think of any.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates MORE has repeatedly floated using U.S. forces to push out Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Earlier this month, he said U.S. military intervention in the country is an “option.”

Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineSocial media summit highlights partisan approaches on tech FTC settles with Facebook for billion fine: report Democrats struggle to quell infighting MORE (D-R.I.) urged Abrams to tell the administration to make it clear that military intervention is off of the table.

The increase in pressure on Venezuela and threats of intervention come after National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president last month. The U.S. immediately recognized him as the legitimate president of the country. Canada, the Organization of American States, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia all followed suit.

Guaidó gave an interview with AFP earlier this month in which he refused to rule out allowing U.S. forces to help push Maduro out of power.

Guaidó told AFP that he would do “everything that is necessary ... to save human lives” while acknowledging that U.S. intervention is “a very controversial subject," the outlet reported.

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeThis week: House Dems voting to hold Barr, Ross in contempt House and Senate head for showdown on must-pass defense bill Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran MORE (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that the military may have to intervene in Venezuela if Russia places weapons there.

Engel made it clear, however, that the Democratic-controlled House would not support such a move.