The U.S. and U.K. jointly launched strikes on Thursday evening against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. These rebels have been causing disruptions to international shipping routes in the Red Sea for several weeks. While there has been bipartisan support from Congress for these strikes, there are concerns over President Joe Biden’s use of executive action without congressional oversight.
President Biden issued a statement from the White House, warning that he will not hesitate to take further measures to protect the American people and international commerce if necessary. Senators and representatives from both parties have praised the decision to act against the Houthi militia, but some have expressed worries about the lack of congressional involvement.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell welcomed the military operations against the Houthi terrorists, stating that it is overdue and a necessary step to restore deterrence against Iran and its proxies. He emphasized the need to make Iranian leaders believe that there will be consequences for their acts of terror.
However, Rep. Ro Khanna criticized the strikes, calling them unconstitutional. He pointed out that President Biden did not seek authorization from Congress as required by the Constitution. Khanna urged for de-escalation and avoiding another Middle East war.
Sen. Roger Wicker commended the strikes as a good first step towards restoring deterrence in the Red Sea. He emphasized the importance of consulting with Saudi Arabia, as well as the ongoing attacks by the Houthis on American vessels and the disruption to global shipping.
Sen. Jack Reed expressed support for President Biden’s actions, praising the military members involved in carrying out the strikes. He stated that the United States will continue to take appropriate action to protect its personnel, interests, and freedom of navigation.
Sen. Todd Young stated that the military action was overdue and called for continued pressure on the Iranian-backed Houthis. He emphasized the need for a decisive response to their behavior and called on the President to present the Administration’s strategy to Congress.
Rep. Gregory Meeks supported the targeted strikes against the Houthi militants, condemning their attacks on commercial shipping and personnel. He called for continued diplomatic efforts to avoid escalation and urged the Biden Administration to engage with Congress on the details of its strategy.
Sen. Susan Collins emphasized that Iran and its proxies must understand that attacks on U.S. troops and disruptions to critical sea lanes will not be tolerated. She supported the military strikes as a response to the Iranian-backed proxies that have targeted U.S. personnel and ships.
Rep. Val Hoyle and Rep. Mark Pocan expressed concerns over the lack of congressional authorization for the airstrikes. They argued that Congress has the sole authority to authorize military involvement in overseas conflicts and called for collaboration between the White House and Congress.
Rep. Jason Crow voiced his opposition to being pulled into a broader war and emphasized the need to avoid further entanglement in conflicts without congressional approval.
Overall, while there is bipartisan support for the strikes against the Houthi rebels, there are concerns over the use of executive action without congressional oversight. Members of Congress are urging for collaboration between the White House and Congress to ensure proper authorization and avoid escalation of the situation.