Senate panel to vote on Turkey sanctions next week

Senate panel to vote on Turkey sanctions next week
© Aaron Schwartz

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote next week on legislation to slap new financial penalties on Turkey.

Sen. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischSenators blast Turkey's move to convert Hagia Sophia back into a mosque Progressive group backs Democratic challenger to Sen. Risch Republicans start bracing for shutdown fight in run-up to election MORE (R-Idaho), the committee’s chairman, said Tuesday that he plans to bring up his sanctions bill for a vote.

“We’re going to mark up the Turkey bill next week,” Risch told reporters.

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The Idaho Republican introduced legislation earlier this year with Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezVOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage Bottom line Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads MORE (D-N.J.) that would restrict U.S. arms sales to Turkey and sanction Turkish officials and those involved in providing weapons to Turkey's military in Syria.

The measure also would require a report on Turkey's participation in NATO and a comprehensive strategy on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), in addition to authorizing humanitarian assistance for Syrian civilians.

The House passed its own Turkey sanctions legislation earlier this year. Senators have introduced myriad bills in the wake of Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.) has cautioned against imposing sanctions.

Risch was part of a group of GOP senators who met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the White House last month. After the meeting Risch said that while he planned to hold a committee vote on his legislation, he didn’t believe it was the right time for Congress to pass new sanctions.

“I think probably it’s best we don’t pass the sanctions bill at this moment,” Risch said last month.