Questions are being raised in Congress about the protection of foreign-flagged cargo vessels by the US Navy in the Red Sea. There is a debate over whether the US should prioritize the defense of its own vessels or continue to support “freedom of navigation” for all vessels. Data shows that the majority of US trade is carried by foreign-flagged vessels. The Iranian-backed Houthis have been attacking shipping in the Red Sea, leading to calls for the US Navy to protect US-flagged vessels. Some lawmakers are also questioning the White House’s justification for military action without congressional approval.