Over the weekend, Democracy Now! spoke with New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and asked her response to the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. “We need to be tactical about how we can actively resist further escalation on already an unprecedented level of escalation and aggression by the president, and therefore by the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “He did this on behalf of our entire country. And that’s what makes the potential illegality of his action so flagrant, because he did not consult Congress and this was not done with the support of the United States.”
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman. Over the weekend, I caught up with New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She had come to the showing of a film that’s just been shortlisted for the Oscar, Knock Down the House, which chronicled her race, her unlikely victory in Queens and the Bronx to become a congressmember from New York. I asked her for her response to the assassination of the Iranian commander, Qassem Soleimani.
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO–CORTEZ: Well, we’ve been really looking at how we’re going to respond, because it’s not enough to just say no war in Iran. We need to be tactical about how we can actively resist further escalation on already an unprecedented level of escalation and aggression by the president, and therefore by the United States. He did this on behalf of our entire country. And that’s what makes the potential illegality of his action so flagrant, because he did not consult Congress and this was not done with the support of the United States. But in his seat as the president, this has now been an act of aggression committed by the United States.
And so, one is that we have to hold him accountable, which, you know, to me, I believe we need to enact the War Powers Resolution, demand that he come before Congress, and without getting permission, we must draw back support. But also I believe that Representative Ro Khanna, he introduced an amendment to the defense authorization last year that could have prevented all of this. He introduced an amendment that prevented any funding for offensive action in Iran. And it was overwhelmingly passed, bipartisan. It passed the House with Republican and Democratic support, and then it was stripped by Democratic and Republican leadership. And so, had his amendment passed, it would have — it could have prevented all of this. But nevertheless, it can prevent further horrific actions from occurring and undemocratic actions from occurring. And I think we need to reintroduce his amendment as a stand-alone bill and see if we can pass it again.
But again, none of this happens, we don’t fix any of this, domestically or in terms of — or internationally, without the votes and without the political will. And that’s why I think that inspiring people to enter this process, you know, we’ve got to get — we’ve got to get the votes, inside and outside, you know, out in the streets and in Congress. And the way that we do that is by inspiring people and demystifying this process for everyday people to be able to engage. And I think whether it’s this vehicle or Instagram or, you know, engaging on social media ourselves, that’s one of the ways that we can truly powerfully transform our democracy.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking on Saturday after a screening of the Oscar-shortlisted documentary Knock Down the House.