Graham, Van Hollen introduce Turkey sanctions bill

Graham, Van Hollen introduce Turkey sanctions bill
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Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham, Cuellar press Biden to name border czar Trump takes two punches from GOP The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE (R-S.C.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenSenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Civil rights activist Gloria Richardson dies Senate Democrats hit speedbumps with big spending plans 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 TrumpSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Gosar's siblings pen op-ed urging for his resignation: 'You are immune to shame' Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate 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 McConnellSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Manchin 'can't imagine' supporting change to filibuster for voting rights Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet MORE (R-Ky.) told reporters on Wednesday.

Even as Graham and Van Hollen were introducing their bill, Sens. Jim RischJim Elroy RischTracy Stone-Manning's confirmation treatment was simply unacceptable — and it must stop The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill MORE (R-Idaho) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezLobbying world This week: Congress starts summer sprint The Innovation and Competition Act is progressive policy 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.