Top Foreign Relations senators introduce Turkey sanctions bill

Top Foreign Relations senators introduce Turkey sanctions bill
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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 RischJim Elroy RischProposal to move defense bill running into new GOP objections Senate nearing deal on defense bill after setback Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo MORE (R-Idaho) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezFive ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan Spending bill faces Senate scramble Republicans raise concerns over Biden's nominee for ambassador to Germany 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 introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' Bipartisan senators earmark billion to support democracies globally Democrats see Christmas goal slipping away MORE (R-S.C.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenReal relief from high gas prices Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Schumer-McConnell dial down the debt ceiling drama 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 SchumerChuck SchumerBuild Back Better Is bad for the states  Dole to lie in state in Capitol Rotunda Biden points to drug prices in call for Senate social spending vote 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 PaulRand Paul: Chris Cuomo firing 'a small step toward CNN regaining any credibility' GOP anger with Fauci rises Congress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default MORE (R-Ky.).