The Senate is gearing up to rebut the administration on Syria, after President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE's decision to pull U.S. troops caught lawmakers flatfooted.

Wrapping up the chamber's work for the week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillary Clinton: Voter suppression has led to 'crisis in democracy' in the US New York Times authors blame Kavanaugh correction on editing error: 'There was zero intent to mislead' The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? MORE (R-Ky.) set up an initial vote to take up legislation that would impose sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and bolster cooperation with Israel and Jordan.

ADVERTISEMENT

The bill was brought to the floor using a fast-track procedure that lets it skip over committee proceedings. It will be the first piece of legislation the Senate has a vote on since the start of the 116th Congress on Thursday.

"It speaks directly to some critical American interests in that part of the world. Our security cooperation with key partners, Israel and Jordan, and the ongoing humanitarian and security catastrophe in the Syrians' civil war," McConnell said from the Senate floor.

McConnell added that the legislation "affirms that the United States needs to walk the walk and authorize military assistance, cooperative missile defense as well as loan guarantees."

The legislation was introduced by Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioCalifornia poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation GOP group's ad calls on Graham to push for election security: 'Are you still trying?' MORE (R-Fla.), Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischTrump at a pivotal crossroads on Iran Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn't want war with Iran | Pentagon chief calls attack on Saudi oil facilities 'unprecedented' | Administration weighs response | 17th US service member killed in Afghanistan this year Bolton exit provokes questions about Trump shift on Iran MORE (R-Idaho), who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee; Cory GardnerCory Scott Gardner The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration The Hill's Morning Report — Trump's hurricane forecast controversy won't go away MORE (R-Colo.) and McConnell.

In addition to new sanctions, it includes four bills that were introduced during the last Congress but that didn't make it to Trump's desk. One, from Rubio and Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? Prospects for Trump gun deal grow dimmer The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE (D-W.Va.), seeks to counter the "Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions" movement by opposing boycotts or divestment from Israel.

Though the legislation doesn't speak directly to the U.S. military's involvement in Syria, Senate aides told NBC News that it's meant to reassert Congress's role in shaping foreign policy and make the argument for continued U.S. engagement.

Trump's decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria enraged GOP senators, who gave Vice President Pence an "earful" during a closed-door lunch and have publicly urged Trump to reverse course.

McConnell appeared to tip his hat toward that debate on Friday, saying he anticipates the Senate will debate the issue "in the coming weeks" and predicted it will be "contentious."

"There is no question that we continue to face serious challenges from al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria as well as from Iran, Russia and the Assad regime itself. And I anticipate this body will debate U.S. military strategy toward Syria in the coming weeks as it conducts oversight over the administration's apparently ongoing review of its Syria policy," he said.

He added that he hoped "the administration and Congress will be deliberate and sober as we consider the risk of various approaches. … The debate is forthcoming. I imagine it could be contentious."