Top Foreign Relations senators introduce Turkey sanctions bill

Top Foreign Relations senators introduce Turkey sanctions bill
The top two senators on the Foreign Relations Committee introduced legislation on Thursday that would slap sanctions on Turkey following its military invasion into northern Syria.

The bill, from Sens. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischTrump holds chummy meeting with Turkey's Erdoğan Overnight Defense: Trump hosts Erdoğan at White House | Says Turkish leader has 'great relationship with the Kurds' | Highlights from first public impeachment hearing GOP senators to meet with Turkey's Erdoğan, Trump amid tensions MORE (R-Idaho) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGraham blocks resolution recognizing Armenian genocide after Erdoğan meeting Trump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward MORE (D-N.J.), would restrict arms sales to Turkey and sanction Turkish officials and those involved in providing weapons to Turkey's military in Syria.

It would also require a report on Turkey's participation in NATO.

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“This bipartisan legislation is meant to confront the instability being sown in the Middle East,” Risch said in a statement.

Menendez added that the legislation "will address Turkey’s brutal incursion into Northeastern Syria, but also require the Trump administration chart a path forward for our nation’s efforts to counter ISIS and address our most pressing national security needs in the Middle East."

The Risch-Menendez bill would also require a “comprehensive strategy” to deal with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), including the resurgence and reformation of the group.

The legislation also authorizes humanitarian assistance for Syrian civilians and sanctions Russian support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The legislation comes as lawmakers are weighing myriad potential legislative options to respond to Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops back from northern Syria and Turkey’s military invasion.

In addition to the Risch-Menendez bill, Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Graham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-S.C.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOn The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war GAO reviewing Trump hold on Ukraine military aid Democrats unveil proposal for 'millionaires surtax' MORE (D-Md.) introduced legislation on Thursday to slap new penalties on Turkey.

The House also passed a resolution on Wednesday formally breaking with Trump’s strategy. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action MORE (D-N.Y.) tried to get consent to bring the resolution up for a vote but was blocked by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate GOP waves Trump off early motion to dismiss impeachment charges McConnell discounts quick dismissal of Trump impeachment articles: 'We'll have to have a trial' GOP motions to subpoena whistleblower MORE (R-Ky.).