Senate Democrat on Turkey sanctions: 'For God's sake, what are they waiting for?'

Senate Democrat on Turkey sanctions: 'For God's sake, what are they waiting for?'
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. 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.) on Sunday blasted the Trump administration's delay in imposing sanctions against Turkey for its actions in northern Syria. 

“For God’s sake, what are they waiting for? People are being killed right now,” Hollen, who is co-sponsoring Turkish sanctions legislation with Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), said on "Fox News Sunday."

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“Our Syrian Kurdish allies are being killed right now, it looks like many of the ISIS detainees are now possibly going to be able to escape …[The White House] looks ridiculous right now, so that’s why it’s important that the Congress move forward on this front,” Van Hollen told Fox’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceAnything-but-bipartisan 1/6 commission will seal Pelosi's retirement. Here's why Biden walks fine line with Fox News Aides who clashed with Giuliani intentionally gave him wrong time for Trump debate prep: book MORE. “All [the Trump administration] is doing is talking while people are being killed.”

Van Hollen told that Wallace bipartisan support for action against Turkey, which moved troops into northern Syria after President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE announced the withdrawal of U.S. forces, exists among lawmakers.

“We believe momentum is building for the Congress to act since this president has shown a total unwillingness to do something in the face of this slaughter,” he said. “The key is to act quickly. When Congress wants to act quickly it can.”

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election Democrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer MORE, meanwhile, defended the pace of the White House’s response after Trump vowed swift action if Turkey treats Syrian Kurds, who helped the U.S. fight ISIS, inhumanely.

“Let me just say this is a complicated, developing situation. You have a NATO ally on one hand fighting against the Kurds who were helping us with the fight against ISIS,” Mnuchin told ABC’s Jon Karl on Sunday. “We are in daily communications with Turkey, both at the Defense Department, the State Department, on very specific issues. We are ready to go at a moment’s notice to put on sanctions.”

Trump also tweeted early Sunday about the push in Congress for action against Turkey.

“Treasury is ready to go, additional legislation may be sought. There is great consensus on this. Turkey has asked that it not be done. Stay tuned!” he said.