Matt Gaetz Slams Lindsey Graham for Agreeing With Biden

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Matt Gaetz Slams Lindsey Graham for Agreeing With Biden

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz has lashed out at Republican Senator Lindsey Graham for saying he was “very supportive” of the Biden administration’s decision to launch missile strikes against Houthis rebels in Yemen.

The U.S. and the U.K. carried out strikes on the Iranian-backed Houthis after the latter launched a series of attacks in the Red Sea, including against American vessels. Houthis vowed to continue attacking ships they believe are heading to Israel in retaliation for its war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

“Breaking News: Lindsey Graham supports another war in the Middle East,” Gaetz wrote Thursday on X, formerly Twitter.

Biden was criticized by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers for beginning a conflict in the Middle East without approval from Congress first. But Biden’s decision has also been praised by some GOP figures, namely the South Carolina senator.

“Very supportive of the Biden Administration’s decision to strike Houthi rebels who have been harassing international shipping and trying to attack Israeli and American interests,” Graham posted on X.

Matt Gaetz in DC
Rep. Matt Gaetz leaves the speaker’s office at the U.S. Capitol on January 11, 2024 in Washington, DC. Gaetz has criticized Sen. Lindsey Graham after the latter said he was “very supportive” of the Biden administration’s decision to bomb Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

“It’s long past time to let Iran know that we will hold them accountable for the actions of their proxies—in this case, the Houthi rebels. The only language radical Islamic groups understand is force. I hope the Biden Administration understands that their deterrence policy has completely failed. They must continue using military force in the face of aggression from Iran and their proxies.”

Newsweek has contacted the offices of Gaetz and Graham for comment via email.

The White House announced on Thursday that in response to Houthi attacks, which have severely disrupted world shipping lanes, that the armed forces of the U.S. and United Kingdom, with the backing of several other governments, had targeted Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen with a bombing campaign.

“These precision strikes were intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities the Houthis use to threaten global trade and the lives of international mariners in one of the world’s most critical waterways,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.

Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna was one of those who criticized Biden for not discussing with Congress before launching the missile attacks on the Houthi rebels.

“The President needs to come to Congress before launching a strike against the Houthis in Yemen and involving us in another Middle East conflict. That is Article I of the Constitution,” the California congressman posted. “I will stand up for that regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican is in the White House.”

In reply, Republican Senator Mike Lee from Utah wrote: “I totally agree with @RoKhanna. The Constitution matters, regardless of party affiliation.”

Kentucky GOP congressman Thomas Massie added: “Only Congress has the power to declare war. I have to give credit to Rep. Khanna here for sticking to his principles, as very few are willing to make this statement while their party is in the White House.”

Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to declare war. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 states that a president can launch military action against a foreign country without congressional approval, but must inform the legislative body of the decision within 48 hours.

Several U.S. presidents have ordered military strikes without the approval of Congress. In January 2020, Donald Trump authorized the drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani with seeking Congress’ approval. In March 2011, Barack Obama did not have formal authorization from the legislative body when he ordered air strikes in Libya.

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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