Fury over Trump Syria decision grows

Democrats in Congress are vowing to quickly slap new sanctions on Ankara and formally oppose President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE's decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria following Turkey’s military offensive against Kurdish forces loyal to the United States.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills MORE (D-Calif.) spoke Monday with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties GOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution Hannity slams Stern for Clinton interview: 'Not the guy I grew up listening to' MORE (R-S.C.), an ally of Trump who is fiercely critical of his policy on Syria, about the need for bipartisan legislation.

“As we find ourselves in a situation where the president gave a green light to the Turks to bomb and effectively unleashed ISIS, we must have a stronger sanctions package than what the White House is suggesting,” said Pelosi.

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Republicans have excoriated Trump for his decision, but it’s not clear how far they’ll go with legislation to explicitly rebuke him.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties MORE (R-Ky.) didn’t tip his hand Monday on what he will support, but said he was “gravely concerned” and that talks would be ongoing in the Senate this week on how to respond.

“Withdrawing American leadership from this pivotal region would not serve our nation’s short-, medium- or long-term interests. ... I look forward to discussing what the United States can do to avoid a strategic calamity with my Senate colleagues and with senior administration officials when the Senate returns to Washington this week,” he said.

Graham and Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenThe Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment Graham, Van Hollen warn Pompeo that 'patience' on Turkey sanctions 'has long expired' Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback MORE (D-Md.) are expected to introduce a sanctions bill this week that would target Turkey’s military and energy sector. It would also restrict any assets Turkish leadership, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have within U.S. jurisdiction and limit their ability to travel to the United States.

“I will be working across party lines in a bicameral fashion to draft sanctions and move quickly. ... The Speaker indicated to me that time was of the essence,” Graham said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, at least two groups of lawmakers — one led by Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight 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 Pompeo: US ending sanctions waiver for site where Iran resumed uranium enrichment MORE (R-Wyo.) and another by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHouse approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump House leaders: Trump administration asking South Korea to pay more for US troops 'a needless wedge' Trump administration releases 5M in military aid for Lebanon after months-long delay MORE (D-N.Y.) and the committee’s top Republican, Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulHouse GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues Texas GOP congressman calls on governor to postpone execution of Rodney Reed House Republicans add Hunter Biden, whistleblower to impeachment hearing witness wish list MORE (Texas) — are preparing their own sanctions legislation.

In addition to sanctions legislation, lawmakers are working on a joint resolution that would oppose Trump’s strategy, urge Turkey to stop its military operations, and support military and humanitarian efforts for the Kurds.

“Our first order of business was to agree that we must have a bipartisan, bicameral joint resolution to overturn the president’s dangerous decision in Syria immediately,” Pelosi said Monday.

Trump said Monday implemented his own financial penalties — a step lawmakers warned wouldn't quell the bipartisan backlash on Capitol Hill.

“The United States will aggressively use economic sanctions to target those who enable, facilitate and finance these heinous acts in Syria. I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey's economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path,” Trump said.

He added that the penalties and travel restrictions would target Turkish officials involved in human rights abuses or “threatening the peace, security or stability in Syria.”

Democrats said Trump’s move didn’t go far enough.

“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,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law | Michigan governor seeks to pause Medicaid work requirements | New front in fight over Medicaid block grants House, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law Why a second Trump term and a Democratic Congress could be a nightmare scenario for the GOP MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedRepublicans raise concerns over Trump pardoning service members Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases Top Armed Services Democrat scolds military leaders on Trump's intervention in war crimes cases MORE (D-R.I.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution The job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Senate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters MORE (D-N.J.) said in a joint statement. “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.”

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

Trump’s announcement came shortly after he doubled down on his decision to pull back U.S. troops, saying Syrian President Bashar Assad can protect the Kurds.

“Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land,” Trump tweeted. “Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!”

Trump’s invitation to America’s adversaries to protect onetime U.S. partners followed a separate tweet Sunday where he stressed he was working with Graham and others in Congress to impose new sanctions against Turkey, saying there was “great consensus.”

Syria has emerged as a major point of tension between Trump and his GOP allies on Capitol Hill, who blasted his decision to pull back U.S. troops as “catastrophic,” a “terrible decision” and the “biggest blunder of his presidency.”

Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Suspect in Pensacola shooting identified as Saudi aviation student | Trump speaks with Saudi king after shooting | Esper denies considering 14K deployment to Mideast Pentagon: Reports of 14K troop increase in Mideast 'flat out wrong' The Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached MORE announced Sunday that Trump had ordered the withdrawal of nearly all 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria. Trump said Monday a “small footprint” of U.S. troops would stay at the al-Tanf garrison in southern Syria to fight ISIS, while the rest would “redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation.”

Meanwhile, reports emerged over the weekend that hundreds of ISIS prisoners had escaped in northern Syria, video of a Turkish-aligned Syrian militia executing Kurds circulated online and the Kurds made a deal for Syrian forces to move into the area for the first time in seven years.

Graham gave Trump some cover Monday after spending the past week repeatedly lashing out at the administration. During a Fox News interview, he placed the blame for the situation in Syria on Turkey, saying Erdoğan had made “the biggest mistake of his life” and “misjudged” Trump.

“There’s going to be crippling sanctions imposed by the Congress to supplement what President Trump’s administration has done,” he said. “I’ve never seen such bipartisan support. We’ve all had it with Erdoğan.”

Schumer stressed during a New York press conference on Sunday that he and Pelosi have been coordinating over the details of the resolution. The Senate voted earlier this year to warn the president against removing troops from Syria, after he initially floated doing so in December.

“We've worked so hard and so long to prevent it from happening again,” he said. “We have sacrificed blood and dollars to make it not happen.”