Democrats warn Trump's Turkey sanctions don't go far enough

Democrats warn Trump's Turkey sanctions don't go far enough
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats quickly signaled on Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals MORE's decision to slap new financial penalties on Turkey won't be enough to quash backlash over the administration's Syria policy. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerWhite House asking Congress for .5 billion to fight coronavirus Hillicon Valley: Agencies play catch-up over TikTok security concerns | Senate Dems seek sanctions on Russia over new election meddling | Pentagon unveils AI principles Senate Democrats urge Trump administration to impose sanctions on Russia for election interference MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedLawmakers wary as US on cusp of initial deal with Taliban Pavlich: The Senate defends its integrity Five Senate Democrats make impeachment case in Spanish MORE (D-R.I.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMenendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees Senators condemn UN 'blacklisting' of US companies in Israeli settlements Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (D-N.J.) — the top Democrats on the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, respectively — urged Republicans to support a resolution asking Trump to reverse his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria. 

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"Strong sanctions, while good and justified, will not be sufficient in undoing that damage nor will it stop the consequences stemming from the ISIS jailbreak," they said in an apparent reference to reports that some ISIS fighters had broken out of prisons in the wake of Turkey's military invasion.  

"The first step when Congress returns to session this week is for Republicans to join with us in passing a resolution making clear that both parties are demanding the president’s decision be reversed," they added. 

After days of mulling new sanctions against Ankara, Trump announced new financial penalties and travel restrictions that would target Turkish officials involved in human rights abuses or “threatening the peace, security or stability in Syria.”

But Democrats quickly signaled that the action won't be enough to stop the push on Capitol Hill for additional legislation. In addition to a sanctions package, lawmakers are also discussing a resolution that would formally oppose Trump's decision to pull back U.S. troops and call on him to reverse course. 

"President Trump should use this moment to step up, do the right thing, and correct course. He can listen to his national security and military advisors, and to the chorus of bipartisan voices in Congress and across the world who made it clear that this was a grave mistake worth reversing," Schumer, Reed and Menendez added.  

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) added in a tweet that "sanctions are a necessary step—as long as they are stringent & swift—but more must be done to help repair the broken promises & shattered lives caused by Trump’s reckless & senseless betrayals." 

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBottom Line Immigrants who seek opportunity should comply with longstanding American values Trump's intel moves spark Democratic fury MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThis week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Congress set for clash over surveillance reforms Five things to know about emerging US, Taliban peace deal MORE (R-S.C.), a close Trump ally who has been critical of his Syria decision, spoke before the president's announcement about the need for a sanctions package and the separate resolution opposing the administration's strategy.  

Asked if Trump’s statement scuttled the need for additional legislation, a Democratic leadership aide added that “we have no details beyond a vague statement. Regardless, there is significant bipartisan interest in advancing a legislative sanctions package.”