Only four of Arizona’s U.S. House members voted in favor of the Wars Resolution Act.
Members of Arizona’s congressional delegation are expressing hope President Donald Trump will continue to deescalate tensions in the Middle East after his announcement Wednesday that “Iran appears to be standing down” following an attack on a U.S. military base in Iraq.
The attack, which resulted in no casualties, was in response to the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani during a targeted drone strike in Baghdad last week.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to limit the President’s military powers, effectively preventing Trump from ordering acts of war on Iran without congressional approval.
Responses to the rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran from Arizona lawmakers vary widely. Here’s what they had to say, and how members of the House voted on the War Powers Resolution.
Governor Doug Ducey
A longtime supporter of President Trump, Gov. Ducey said in a radio interview that he believes “the world’s a better place now that [Soleimani’s] no longer on the face of the earth,” and those who disagree with the attack are suffering from “derangement syndrome.”
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema
In a written statement, Arizona’s senior senator said that while “Iran’s aggression must be checked, and the administration must provide a coherent effective strategy to safeguard our national security,” her main priority is to focus on ensuring the security of Arizona families.
Sen. Martha McSally
The retired colonel and Air Force combat veteran said the missile attack was to be expected, but hopes the situation can now deescalate. “We have to deter future threats,” she stated. “And deterrence means the Qasem Soleimanis need to know we are willing and able to make it so painful for them they have to change their calculus.”
Rep. Tom O’Halleran: voted in favor of resolution
“I am relieved to hear that, as of now, there have been no American casualties as a result of this Iranian retaliation operation,” O’Halleran said in a prepared statement. “No American wants to see an escalation of force or a large-scale military conflict. We must focus on de-escalation, maintaining our partnership with the Iraqi government, and precise diplomatic initiatives that will lead to a peaceful, non-nuclear Iran.”
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick: not present for vote
“We cannot afford another endless and heartbreaking war,” Kirkpatrick stated in an interview with the Arizona Republic after commemorating the victims of the 2011 shooting in Tucson on the House floor this week. She added that she hopes “ President Trump and his military advisors can act with level-headed leadership moving forward and that Iran stands down from any further attempts to attack.”
Rep. Raul Grijalva: voted in favor resolution
This week, Arizona’s longest-serving member of Congress did no mince words in his dissatisfaction with President Trump. “The President made it clear he has no long-term strategy for managing the crisis he created with the killing of Soleimani,” Grijalva tweeted. “Another endless war is not the answer.”
Rep. Paul Gosar: voted against resolution
In response to the killing of Soleimani, Gosar tweeted a photoshopped image of former President Barack Obama shaking hands with Iran President Hassan Rouhani with the caption, “The world is a better place without these guys in power.” However, the handshake never took place, and Rouhani is still in power. The Congressman was heavily criticized for the misleading tweet.
After Trump’s announcement Wednesday, Gosar said, “America should not enter into any more long, global conflicts that put our soldiers in harm’s way without a strategy or approval from Congress.”
Rep. Andy Biggs: voted against resolution
“The attack on Soleimani was legitimate,” the House Freedom Caucus Chair said in a video posted to Twitter. He added that “if Iran would stop exporting terrorists… you would see a much more stabilized region.”
Rep. David Schweikert: voted against resolution
Schweikert, who is currently under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics for improper use of official funds, has said nothing about the tension between U.S. and Iran online or otherwise. When asked to make a statement, he said simply: “I am pleased with the circumspect discipline shown by the president.”
Rep. Gallego: voted in favor of resolution
An Iraq war veteran, Gallego has been critical of Trump’s hostile actions in the region from the beginning. “We wouldn’t be in this situation if the president hadn’t overreacted,” he told reporters from Cheddar. “We are entirely dependent on Iran deciding whether to deescalate versus us not being in the situation in the first place.” Gallego, a retired Marine corporal, was deployed in Iraq from 2000 to 2006.
Rep. Debbie Lesko: voted against resolution
Speaking with Newsmax, Lesko reiterated her unyielding support for the actions taken by the Trump Administration. “I totally support President Trump’s actions,” she said. “Iran has been after America and Israel for literally years, so we know they’re an enemy.”
Rep. Greg Stanton: voted in favor of resolution
After attending a classified intelligence briefing on U.S. actions in Iran, Stanton said in a statement that he is “grateful that no Americans were harmed during [this week’s] missile attack in Iraq. But it is naive to conclude that Iran is ‘standing down.’” The Democratic congressman believes the Trump Administration has no clear strategy for handling the escalation in Iran, and urged the President to develop a coherent plan and present it to the American people.