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U.S. House committee says Pompeo agrees to testify on Iran, Iraq policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives committee said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to testify at a public hearing on Iran and Iraq policy, after threatening a subpoena over previous refusals to appear.

Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he spoke to Pompeo on Tuesday and he had agreed to appear at a hearing separate from the committee’s annual budget hearing.

Engel, in a statement, said he would announce a date for the hearing soon.

Members of Congress – including some of Trump’s fellow Republicans – have been pushing Trump’s administration for more information about the killing by a drone strike in Iraq this month of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.

Lawmakers have also been working to pass war powers legislation that would rein in Trump’s ability to deploy U.S. forces abroad without congressional consent.

The foreign affairs panel had tried to schedule at least two public hearings with Pompeo, including one that would have taken place on Wednesday, Jan. 29, but he had declined to appear. [L1N29M161]

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Tom Brown)