FederalIssuesStatewide NewsTexas Delegation Responses to Soleimani’s Death Reveal Deep Partisan Divide As Impeachment Trial Looms

As articles of impeachment move to the Senate, responses from Texas delegates regarding President Trump and the death of Iranian Commander Soleimani split down party lines.
January 17, 2020
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President Trump’s decision earlier this month to direct the U.S. military to conduct an airstrike in Baghdad that resulted in the death of Iranian Commander Qassem Soleimani has been both praised and criticized by those in Congress.

According to the Department of Defense, Soleimani served as a leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force and was responsible not only for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and their allies but also for planning and orchestrating attacks against American forces.

Most recently, Soleimani is credited with orchestrating the attack on the U.S. Embassy that occurred at the end of December. 

However, while Republicans have been quick to praise President Trump for his decision, Democrats have criticized the president, citing concerns of escalating violence in the region and President Trump’s failure to consult Congress before acting. 

On January 9, a War Powers Resolution was passed in a 224-194 vote in the House in an attempt to limit President Trump from taking further military action against Iran without first consulting Congress.

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Notably, only three Republicans voted in favor of the resolution, none of whom were from Texas. 

While many Democrats admit Soleimani was a ruthless General responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, the responses from lawmakers further reveal the growing partisan divide in Congress as impeachment looms.

The responses from Texas delegates regarding the Trump administration’s action in Iran have been true to party lines. 

Here’s what Texas delegates, including Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, had to say about President Trump’s decision.

Ted Cruz (R)

  • “The end of Qasem Soleimani is welcome and long-overdue justice for the thousands of Americans killed or wounded by his Iranian-controlled forces across the Middle East, and for the hundreds of thousands of Syrians and Iraqi Sunnis ethnically cleansed by his militias. It is also long-overdue justice for our Israeli allies who have suffered decades of terrorism at the hands of Hezbollah terrorists commanded by his IRGC Quds Force.” 

John Cornyn (R) 

  • “The President did exercise his authority under the Constitution to defend the United States and its interests. I think our friends on the other side are looking for some reason to disagree. We didn’t see this kind of partisan division when President Obama decided to take out Osama bin Laden.” 

Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01)

  • “General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top terrorist commander, was responsible for the murder of hundreds of American troops and the maiming of many times more than that… It is incredible that some here in Congress have more apparent sympathy for a terrorist murderer than for the vast Americans he murdered… Speaker Pelosi has once again chosen to place her personal abhorrence for President Trump over our own national security.”

Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02)

  • “Tonight’s strike was historic and America is better off because of it. One of the world’s most pre-eminent sponsors of terrorism, Qassem Soleimani, is now dead. He spent more than 20 years spreading death and destruction across the region, to include engineering and providing IEDs to Shia militias in Iraq that were used to kill hundreds of Americans.”

Van Taylor (R-TX-03)

  • “Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the death of hundreds of Americans, thousands of lives lost in the Middle East, and posed an imminent danger to our nation… As a Marine who served in Iraq, I understand the importance of peace through strength and the gravity of this situation. Just as Americans united after the strategic elimination of Osama bin Laden, we should come together against as a result of this successful mission.”

John Ratcliffe (R-TX-04)

  • “The Trump administration was bold and resolute in taking out a designated terrorist personally responsible for the death of hundreds of American soldiers, sailors and marines… I support the President’s decisive directive to punish the killing of Americans and commend the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who carried out the order to deter future Iranian terrorist attack plans.”

Lance Gooden (R-TX-05)

  • “FANTASTIC NEWS! Watch for liberals to spin this in a bad way against our president who has finally had enough of the Iranians. This dead loser from Iran is responsible for the deaths of at least hundreds of American soldiers and probably more. The world is a slightly better place tonight without him. THANK YOU FOR REAL LEADERSHIP PRESIDENT Donald J. Trump.”

Ron Wright (R-TX-06)

  • After attending a briefing with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff among others, Rep. Wright said with regard to Soleimani’s death, “It’s clear that @POTUS’s actions protect American lives and interests. I have the utmost confidence that the administration will continue to put our national security first.”

Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-07)

  • “Whether to declare war is a question the Constitution of the United States reserves for the Congress of the United States.  And for good reason. The question of whether to send our children, and our neighbors’ children, to war is to be answered by the representatives of the people.”

Kevin Brady (R-TX-08)

  • “Shameful that my Democrat colleagues care more about bashing President Trump than honoring our brave military & intelligence men and women who made this victory possible.”

Al Green (D-TX-09)

  • “The President serves as the commander-and-chief of the United States military, but he is not above the law. He does not have the authority to declare war. The Constitution grants that authority to Congress. Although the White House may have justified using military action to kill Mr. Soleimani – identifying him as an imminent threat, his death could cause dire consequences for the United States, our allies, Iran, and Iraq where the killing took place.”

Michael McCaul (R-TX-10)

  • “Qasem Soleimani made his living wreaking havoc on the freedom-loving people of the Middle East. His resume included nurturing the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon; protecting and enabling the tyrant Bashar al-Assad in Syria; and destabilizing Yemen. He supported militias in Iraq that killed over 600 Americans as well as thousands of Iraqis. According to the Pentagon, Soleimani was actively plotting more attacks on Americans. The President acted decisively to protect our country, diplomats, service members and citizens.”

Michael Conaway (R-TX-11)

  • “Eliminating Qassem Soleimani- a man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans- was the right decision, and one that makes Texas, America, and the rest of the world safer. I support the President and those within his administration who helped accomplish this important mission.”

Kay Granger (R-TX-12)

  • “The President of the United States has the constitutional authority to protect Americans when threatened at home or abroad, and he has exercised this right following continued aggression by Iran… It is my firm belief that the United States is more protected now as a result of President Trump’s decisive action…” 

Mac Thornberry (R-TX-13)

  • “Iran has been deliberately ratcheting up tensions with provocative actions against the United States for some time, testing us and the world. That campaign has been largely orchestrated by General Soleimani, who was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqis and American service members in Iraq. The U.S. must be fully prepared for whatever actions Iran may take after the death of Soleimani’s and Iran’s proxy militia leader in Iraq. And all other nations that seek peace and stability throughout the Middle East should stand with us to discourage further Iranian aggression.”

Randy Weber (R-TX-14)

  • “I am so proud of our President! Benghazi happened under a cowardly administration that was afraid of its own shadow & consistently apologized for that shadow. Not Trump! No sir! He went right at the ‘head of the snake’ and killed it. Right on Mr Trump! Make America Safe Again!”

Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15)

  • “No American will mourn the death of Qasem Soleimani. His reign of terror has come to a just end. However, this strike is not only an escalation, but an action that will likely be met with retaliation and possibly foment another war in the Middle East. The Administration’s decision to target an Iranian general was done so without congressional notification and raises serious legal questions.”

Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16)

  • “The reckless and irresponsible actions by @realDonaldTrump have endangered our service members, diplomats and allies, and worked counter to American security interests… The absence of clear strategy toward Iran is dangerous and my concerns have been furthered by the President’s insufficient consultation with Congress as required under the War Powers Resolution and by the Administration’s briefing which failed to demonstrate imminent threat to our nation.”

Bill Flores (R-TX-17)

  • “President Trump’s decisive action was both warranted and justified to take out a known terrorist leader who represented a clear and present danger to Americans. America and our allies are safer because of the President’s bold actions and the incredible capabilities of the United States Military.”

Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX-18)

  • “The reckless decision by President Trump to assassinate General Qasem Soleimani could lead to Americans seeing more violent acts against them around the world. I urge Congress to assert it’s (sic) constitutional authority and to enforce the War Powers to restrain the President.”

Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19)

  • “Today, @realdonaldtrump exemplified the best of our Commander-in-Chief & reflects the best of our Armed Forces: strong, resolved, & measured. @POTUS’s response to Iranian aggression was necessary & appropriate, & the world is safer bc of his leadership.”

Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20)

  • “President Trump’s strike in Iraq that resulted in the death of Iranian military leader Quasem Soleimani was taken without congressional authorization and raises serious risks of escalation that he and his Administration have not demonstrated the ability to effectively manage.”

Chip Roy (R-TX-21)

  • “Suleimani’s death is an important and powerful statement that America will always defend herself and her interests through defensive, and when necessary, pre-emptive actions… To those Democrats hand-wringing about President Trump’s authority, he was not only correct to take him out as a response to Suleimani and Iran’s continued targeting of Americans and our national interests, he was legally empowered to do so as Commander-in-Chief, operating in Iraq, where our troops lawfully present by authorization of Congress.”

Pete Olson (R-TX-22)

  • “Once again our U.S. military proves it is the best in the world — defending our freedoms and the values we hold dear. Today General Soleimani learned a “once-in-a-lifetime” lesson: If you seek to harm Americans, you will pay the ultimate price.”

Will Hurd (R-TX-23)

  • “I think it was a good move… when you have an opportunity like this, you take it… The Iranian government is not the victim here – they are culprits… If the Iranian government wants to truly have de-escalation, then guess what? Stop killing Americans. Stop killing our allies, Stop trying to influence the elections in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Afghanistan, in Yemen. Stop killing your own people who are trying to peacefully protest. Stop lying about your nuclear weapons.” 

Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24) 

  • “Iranian General Soleimani was responsible for over 600 American deaths in the Iraq War, years of instability in the Middle East, and the recent attack on our embassy in Baghdad. He was one of the world’s biggest terrorists, plain and simple. President Trump’s order last night makes it clear that our country will not sit idly by while Iran and its leaders target Americans. Justice has finally been served for all those who have been affected by this murderer.”

Roger Williams (R-TX-25)

  • “Make no mistake: Qassim Soleimani was a terrorist. He had the blood of over six hundred American men and women on his hands and was responsible for injuring thousands more. President Trump made the right decision to take him out and our world is safer because he is no longer in it. Let’s also be clear that this was not an act of war.”

Michael Burgess (R-TX-26)

  • “When I joined @AmericaNewsroom this week, I told @SandraSmithFox that the actions taken by the administration in regards to General Soleimani were absolutely appropriate and correct.”

Michael Cloud (R-TX-27)

  • “By in large, it confirmed what we know, that there was an imminent threat against the United States assets and personnel, and the president was absolutely appropriate in responding the way he did in taking out Soleimani.”

Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28)

  • “If there was an immediate danger, I can understand, but I hope the president will disclose that. You can’t just say that’s the case… I’m hoping the president can be more cooperative.”

Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29)

  • “As Congress, we have a responsibility to keep our country safe and to keep our service members and diplomats out of harm’s way. We will continue to monitor the situation in Iran and make sure that our national security interests in the region are not hurt by this President… We should be working towards peace and not potential war.”

Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30)

  • “This Administration conducted airstrikes in Iraq targeting high-level Iranian military officials and killing Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, without the authorization of or consultation by the Congress. While American  leaderships’ highest priorities are protecting American lives and interests, we can’t further risk the lives of American servicemembers, diplomats, and others by engaging in provocative and disproportionate actions.” 

John Carter (R-TX-31)

  • “Soleimani was a terrorist responsible for the loss of hundreds of American lives. The Iranian regime escalated the situation when they attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad & I applaud President @realDonaldTrump for taking appropriate action in response.”

Colin Allred (D-TX-32)

  • “I watched along with the rest of the nation as our president authorized the killing of one of Iran’s highest-ranking generals and then threatened to destroy 52 sites ‘important to Iran and the Iranian culture.’ As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on the Middle East, I know this is not the Trump administration’s first erratic or impulsive foreign policy decision… America is exceptional because of our ideals the power of our values. Those values, and our own safety, are undermined when the president threatens war crimes and when we ignore our own constitutional system of checks and balances. 

Marc Veasey (D-TX-33)

  • “Qassim Soleimani was an enemy of our country that was responsible for the deaths of thousands. That is clear. However, I am deeply concerned that this attack was carried out without proper Congressional consultation. It is time for the Administration to brief Congress on their strategy going forward to ensure that our nation does not get pulled into another unnecessary war.”

Filemon Vela (D-TX-34)

  • “Killing Soleimani was nothing more than one madman killing another madman and making the world less safe. @POTUS @realDonaldTrump.”

Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35)

  • “While Soleimani was undoubtedly evil, our foreing policy must focus on protecting Americans. Trump, who claims to know more than our generals, the intelligence community, and our foreign service officers, now risks endless escalation from an aggressive and malicious adversary… Trump’s actions strengthen anti-American forces and Iranian zealots. His recklessness has little to do with protecting Americans and everything to do with protecting Trump, the Master of Distraction.”

Brian Babin (R-TX-36)

  • “@realDonaldTrump has done more to hold Iran accountable for its actions than any other President in the last 40 years. Democrats would rather side with a recognized terrorist than give Trump credit where credit’s due.”

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Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.