House to vote on resolution condemning Trump's Syria pullback

House to vote on resolution condemning Trump's Syria pullback


By:  Jordain Carney
The Hill

The House will vote Wednesday on a resolution condemning President Trump's decision to pull back troops in northern Syria.

A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calf.) confirmed that the joint resolution formally opposing Trump's strategy will be on the House floor on Wednesday.

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged Republicans to support the resolution ahead of the vote. A bipartisan vote in the House could help add pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to give the measure a vote in the GOP-controlled Senate.

“The chaos and insecurity unleashed in Syria by President Trump’s disastrous decision to precipitously withdraw from northern Syria require strong, smart leadership from Congress," Pelosi and Schumer said.

"With one voice, we call on President Trump to support Kurdish communities, to work to ensure that the Turkish military acts with restraint, and to present a clear strategy to defeat ISIS. This resolution also urges President Erdogan to immediately cease unilateral military action in Syria," they continued.

The resolution — sponsored by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) in the House and Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.Y.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) in the Senate — "opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria."

It also calls on Turkey to end its military action, calls on the United States to protect the Kurds and calls on the White House "to present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS."

The House vote comes as lawmakers are weighing how to respond to president Trump's decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria, paving the way for Turkey's military invasion.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) are expected to introduce sanctions legislation on Thursday. McCaul and Engel also have their own sanctions bill. McConnell has not committed to bringing any legislation to the Senate floor.

A senior Democratic aide noted that the House was currently working on the sanctions bill "but it has not been scheduled at this point."

Schumer and Pelosi added on Tuesday that a sanctions package was "certainly needed" but "insufficient for reversing this humanitarian disaster."

“Sanity and strength must be immediately restored to America’s national security. We urge all of our colleagues – Democrat and Republican – to support this resolution," they added.