Rooney explains his War Powers vote

01-09-20 war-powers-4The vote to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war on Iran, taken yesterday in the House of Representatives.

Jan. 10, 2020 by David Silverberg

Today Rep. Francis Rooney (R-19-Fla.) explained his vote yesterday in favor of House Concurrent Resolution 83, limiting President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war on Iran.

Rooney’s statement in response to a query from The Paradise Progressive follows in full:

“There are several issues in this vote and resolution.  First, the Congress must exercise its authority under Article 1 of the Constitution to declare war or approve military engagement. Unfortunately, ever since the Vietnam War there has been a steady and consistent evisceration of Congress’ role in consultation, review or approval of military engagement.

“Second, we need a long-term strategy for Iran which exploits the asymmetry between what the people want and what the government will provide. Our Farsi radio broadcasts into Iran show clearly a connection with the people which runs counter to the repressive Iranian regime. Like the containment strategy which brought down the Soviet Union, we can play long ball in Iran.

“Third, the internecine conflicts in Iraq among Shia subsects is a positive development for the United States which we should let percolate instead of giving the people a new enemy to focus on.

“None of this deals specifically with the killing of General Soleimani, which in fact has worked out well—one less bad guy and a deliberate deflection of conflict by Iran, ending the stage-by-stage escalation between the United States  and Iran which has ensued since May.”

Liberty lives in light

© 2020 by David Silverberg

BREAKING NEWS: Rooney, Gaetz defy Trump, GOP, vote to restrict presidential hostilities against Iran

01-09-20 war-powers-4

Jan. 9, 2020 by David Silverberg

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-19-Fla.) defied President Donald Trump and Republican Party discipline tonight and was one of only three Republicans voting for House Concurrent Resolution 83 (HConRes) calling for restrictions on Trump’s ability to go to war with Iran.

In another astonishing vote, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-1-Fla.), a vociferous Trump defender, also voted for the resolution. The third Republican breaking ranks was Rep. Thomas Massie (R-4-Ky.).

Southwest Florida Reps. Greg Steube (R-17-Fla.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25-Fla.) voted the party line against the resolution.

The final vote was 224 to 194, largely along party lines. Eight Democrats voted against the resolution.

As a concurrent resolution, the measure is not a law, is non-binding and does not require the president’s signature. Rather, it expresses the sentiment of both houses of Congress concurrently. Despite this, concurrent resolutions can be powerful indicators of congressional opinion.

As of this writing, Rooney had not issued a statement regarding his vote.

The resolution directs the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran.

“Over the past eight months, in response to rising tensions with Iran, the United States has introduced over 15,000 additional forces into the Middle East. The killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, as well as Iran’s ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases, risks significant escalation in hostilities between the United States and Iran,” states the text of the resolution. “When the United States uses military force, the American people and members of the United States Armed Forces deserve a credible explanation regarding such use of military force.”

While the resolution calls for termination of hostilities against Iran unless there is a declaration of war or a need to defend against imminent attack, it calls on the president to consult with Congress “in every possible instance” before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities as required in the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541).

In an 8:20 am tweet, Trump stated: “Hope that all House Republicans will vote against Crazy Nancy Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution.”

Gaetz explained his vote on Twitter and in a floor statement: “I represent more troops than any other member of this body. I buried one of them earlier today at Arlington. If our service members have the courage to fight and die in these wars, Congress ought to have the courage to vote for or against them. I’m voting for this resolution.”

Steube also issued his statement on Twitter:  “Today I voted against House Concurrent Resolution 83, also known as the War Powers Resolution. This resolution puts House Democrats’ political agenda ahead of American security by limiting the ability of the president to respond to imminent threats on American and our interests. During these uncertain times, the president must have the ability to take decisive action against the terrorist Iranian regime.”

House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-12-Calif.) denounced Trump’s attitude toward Congress as “disdainful” given his lack of consultation. She said the killing of Soleimani had not made the United States any safer.

“We must avoid war,” Pelosi told Mary Bruce of ABC News. “And the cavalier attitude of this administration, it’s stunning. The president will say, ‘I inform you by reading my tweets.’ No, that’s not the relationship that our founders had in mind in the Constitution of the United States when they gave power to the White House to do one thing in terms of our national security and to the Congress to declare war and to allocate resources and the rest.

“It’s a very big issue now because it’s nothing less than preventing war as we honor our first responsibility to protect the American people,” she said.

Liberty lives in light

© 2020 by David Silverberg


Nationwide ‘No War With Iran’ protest rallies set for Thursday, Jan. 9

01-07-20 No War with Iran

Jan. 7, 2020 by David Silverberg

The progressive activist organization,, is calling for a Day of Action to protest against war with Iran on Thursday, Jan. 9 at 5 pm. Civic Action is a progressive 501(c)(4) organization which primarily focuses on nonpartisan education and advocacy on national issues.

As of this writing the closest event scheduled in Southwest Florida is a protest scheduled at the Charlotte County Courthouse in Punta Gorda.

“We will not be forced into another war. On Thursday, January 9, at 5 p.m. local time, the anti-war majority in this country will get visible to oppose Trump’s war and say #NoWarWithIran,” states the organization’s “No War with Iran” website.

“Trump’s reckless action has needlessly endangered countless lives of U.S. troops, Iraqis, Iranians, and countless other civilians. The devastation that a war with Iran could bring upon the earth and humanity cannot be overstated—millions of lives hang in the balance,” it states. “When Trump acts with ignorance, fear, and ego, we will act with diplomacy and prioritize what is best for humanity. We are the majority. We stand united. And we oppose Trump’s war with Iran.”

Liberty lives in light

© 2020 by David Silverberg

For the record: SWFL responses to Soleimani killing

Airstrike kills Iran's Quds force head, Iraqi PMU chiefIranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Quds Force, killed in a US drone strike in Iraq this morning.

Tracking official statements and positions by candidates and sitting officials is important for an informed electorate, so this year The Paradise Progressive will attempt to report official statements by Southwest Florida candidates and incumbents when major events break, in addition to its usual coverage.

Jan. 3, 2019 by David Silverberg

These are the official statements in reaction to the US killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, as of noon today, expressed through Twitter or Facebook.

  • Of three SWFL incumbents, two made statements.
  • Of two Democratic candidates, one made a statement.
  • Of seven Republican candidates, three made statements.


Rep. Greg Steube (R-17-Fla.):

“Qassem Soleimani was an integral part of Iran’s terrorist regime and I applaud President Trump’s decisive action to bring him to justice. When I served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, many of my brothers and sisters in arms were killed by Iranian explosives at the direction of Seleimani. America, and the world, are safer now that his reign of terror has ended.”

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25-Fla.):

“Soleimani plotted international acts of terrorism & has the blood of Americans & our allies on his hands. As the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds force, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, who operated within Iran. Soleimani was responsible for numerous terrorist acts, instability in the region, & violence. I commend the Trump Admin for ridding the world of this evil man, and for taking the steps necessary to protect Americans and our allies from the terrorist threat posed by Iran.”

Democratic congressional candidate

Cindy Banyai:

This is a troubling escalation. Do we want to go to war with Iran? This does not seem to be sound #foreignpolicy.

Republican congressional candidates (in alphabetical order)

Dane Eagle

“This decisive military action deals a blow to our chief adversary in the Middle East and will certainly save American lives. Very proud of our President, and once again disappointed in the Fake News for trying to portray this as anything other than an extraordinary victory.”


Ford O’Connell

“Thank you President Trump for not letting attacks against Americans go unanswered. Thank you for keeping America safe.”


Dan Severson

“The United States has an incredible intelligence apparatus that works hand in hand with the greatest military on earth. We are so fortunate to have a Commander in Chief like Donald J. Trump who acts swiftly and proportionally. Soleimani killed over 600 Americans and was the leader of terrorism sponsored by Iran. This was a good day for the United States of America.”


Liberty lives in light

© 2020 by David Silverberg