Washington – Wyoming Congresswoman and House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) delivered remarks on the House floor on Thursday morning in opposition to proposals the House voted on that would weaken our country’s national security. President Trump tweeted last night urging members of the House of Representatives to oppose both of these measures because they would make it more difficult for the Commander-in-Chief to defend America.
Watch the video of Rep. Cheney’s remarks here, and see the transcript below:
REP. LIZ CHENEY: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and thank you, Leader McCaul, I appreciate that. Mr. Speaker, the measures that we are voting on and debating today are unconstitutional, they’re partisan, and they’re dangerous for America’s national security. The House already debated and voted on both of these bills during the NDAA process last year. Both were rejected, rightly, and stripped from the final NDAA for a reason. Now, Speaker Pelosi is choosing to put this legislation on the floor, once again, in order to weaken the President, just as the Democrats did with their unconstitutional War Powers resolution earlier this month. Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats are so unsure of their own substantive case that they are hiding behind House rules to make sure that Republicans can’t even bring any amendment to this legislation. I wish this were a surprise, but it is unfortunately more of the same abuse of power we have become accustomed to under the Democratic majority in this House.
Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats continue to demonstrate they hate the President so much that they will not even stand with him when he kills the world’s deadliest terrorist. Representative Khanna’s measure today would tie the President’s hands at a time when he needs flexibility most. Earlier this month, Mr. Speaker, the President took action to protect American troops, to defend our national security when he killed the terrorist Qassem Soleimani. His decisive strike against Soleimani made the world a safer place. In carrying out this action, President Trump relied on several authorities, including his Article II powers and the 2002 AUMF—the measure my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are attempting to repeal today. The bills before us will undermine the deterrence established by President Trump. They will embolden Iran, they will make conflict more—not less—likely. Weakness, Mr. Speaker, is provocative. And both of these measures convey weakness.
Representative Khanna’s bill is a serious constitutional transgression. It would call into question whether the President could defend our closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, without first getting approval from 535 Members of the House and the Senate. It would call into question whether he could protect our diplomats in Iraq, who have just in recent months faced attacks from Iranian-backed militias. It would call into question whether he could uphold the basic principle of freedom of navigation and defend against Iran’s attacks on international shipping. Our troops are fighting today, Mr. Speaker, to protect the freedom of every person in this chamber and every person across this country. They should never have to question whether they can defend themselves against America’s enemies. But Rep. Khanna’s measure would sow exactly this kind of doubt. This bill ignores a key historical reality: Iran has been at war with the United States for four decades. The regime has been designated the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism for years on end. Hundreds of troops have died at the hands of Iranian-backed militias. As the U.S. faces these adversaries, it is absolutely critical that the President retain the flexibility to act swiftly and decisively when our interests or forces are threatened. It’s time for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to stop playing politics with the security of our nation. I urge my colleagues to vote against these measures today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.