Graham, Van Hollen introduce Turkey sanctions bill

Graham, Van Hollen introduce Turkey sanctions bill
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Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran Cruz, Graham and Cheney call on Trump to end all nuclear waivers for Iran MORE (R-S.C.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Senate Foreign Relations chair: 'Best' not to pass Turkey sanctions bill 'at this moment' On 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 MORE (D-Md.) formally introduced a bill on Thursday to slap additional sanctions on Turkey in the wake of Ankara's invasion of northern Syria.

The bill, according to details released by the two senators, would target Turkey's energy sector and military as well as assets of top Turkish officials within U.S. jurisdiction and limit their ability to travel to the United States.

Graham told reporters during a news conference that the proposed financial penalties were "wide-ranging and hard-hitting."


"We appreciate what the president did with sanctions against Turkey, we're here to add to it. To supplement what the president did," Graham said. "Congress is going to speak with a very firm singular voice that we will impose sanctions against the strongest measure possible." 

Van Hollen added in a statement that "we must move forward on these sanctions and apply real pressure to Turkey to end this madness.”

In addition to Graham and Van Hollen, the sanctions bill is being backed by 14 additional senators—evenly divided by Republicans and Democrats. 

In addition to applying sanctions against Turkey, the bill includes a formal sense of Congress opposing Trump's decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria. 

The sanctions legislation comes as lawmakers are weighing how to respond to President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE's decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria, paving the way for the Turkish invasion.

Trump has left Republicans fuming over his decision. He sparked a new wave of outrage on Wednesday when he said the Kurds were "no angels."

It's unclear what, if any, legislation will get a vote on the Senate floor.

"We got the potential for Turkish sanctions, we're looking at that," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFeehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds McConnell urges Trump to voice support for Hong Kong protesters Key GOP senator: 'We need a breakthrough' on spending talks MORE (R-Ky.) told reporters on Wednesday.

Even as Graham and Van Hollen were introducing their bill, Sens. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischMcConnell urges Trump to voice support for Hong Kong protesters RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families 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.) introduced another bill related to Syria.

The House also easily passed a resolution on Wednesday that would formally break with Trump's decision and urge Turkey to end its military action, with only 60 lawmakers voting against it.

But it's unclear if the Senate will take up the resolution.

McConnell noted on Thursday that he personally would support a stronger resolution.

"I believe it's important that we make a strong forward-looking strategic statement. For that reason my preference would be for something even stronger than the resolution that the House passed yesterday, which has some serious weaknesses," McConnell said from the Senate floor.

Updated: 8 p.m.