Andrew Yang Vows To Push Power Of War Declaration ‘Back To Congress Where It Belongs’

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang waves as he arrives at the 2020 Gun Safety Forum hosted by gun control activist groups Giffords and March for Our Lives at Enclave on October 2, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang appeared on The View Wednesday in the wake of Iran’s ballistic missile attacks on U.S. military bases in Iraq, which were said to be retribution for America’s killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

At one point during the appearance, Yang was pressed on whether he would have authorized the drone strike that led to Soleimani’s death, ABC News reports.

“I would not have, no. I think it was a mistake,” Yang said. “The story seems to be that a number of solutions were represented to President [Donald] Trump and he chose the most dramatic option that even the military leaders would never have expected him in some way.”

The 44-year-old serial entrepreneur is likely referring to reporting by New York Times terrorism correspondent Rukmini Callimachi, which suggested that killing Soleimani was initially a “far out” option before the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, which reportedly pushed Trump to change his mind.

Yang also expressed his desire to put the powers of war declaration back into the hands of Congress.

“I would push the power to declare war back to Congress where it belongs in our constitution.”

Yang’s push echoes the words of Independent Justin Amash, who recently spoke out against Trump’s approach to Iran and suggested that he is ignoring Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the authority to declare war. The Michigan representative noted that there is a good reason that the Constitution puts the power to declare war in the hands of Congress.

“Every American may be intimately affected by a violent conflict. Soleimani was evil. But our system demands consent for war from the people, acting through their representatives and senators in Congress.”

Yang previously expressed similar sentiments in a lengthy Twitter thread. In it, he said that starting a war with Iran is the “last thing” the United States needs. He then noted that the Constitution grants Congress the power of war authorization. In the thread, Yang highlighted that he signed a pledge to end the “Forever Wars” and said he would work to restore the “historical balance” between the executive and legislative branches.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing to debate and vote on updates to the 1973 War Powers Act, which requires the president to notify Congress of any armed conflict within 48 hours. In addition, the president must receive authorization from Congress for involvement beyond 60 days.