Cheney unveils Turkey sanctions legislation

Cheney unveils Turkey sanctions legislation
© Greg Nash

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn Cheney58 percent say Jan. 6 House committee is biased: poll Gosar's siblings pen op-ed urging for his resignation: 'You are immune to shame' Kinzinger supports Jan. 6 panel subpoenas for Republicans, including McCarthy MORE unveiled legislation on Wednesday to place sanctions on Turkey in the wake of Ankara’s military operation targeting Kurdish forces in Syria.

The Countering Turkish 5 Aggression Act of 2019 — which has attracted more than 70 GOP co-sponsors in the lower chamber  — would target the country’s energy sector, bar the U.S. from selling arms to Ankara, and impose sanctions on Turkish leaders, including its president, vice president, minister of Defense and those supporting its defense sector.

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Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, has been one of the most vocal critics of the administration’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, arguing it provides an opportunity for terrorist groups like ISIS to grow and could have negative implications for the U.S.’s national security. While the bill currently only has Republican co-sponsors, the Wyoming lawmaker said she is discussing the measure with Democratic members and lawmakers in the upper chamber.

“We’ve been working very closely with the Senate, working very closely across the aisle as well, but it’s very important to recognize the impact, in particular, that the Turks now are in a situation where we risk the resurgence of ISIS, where the Turks have gone in and we see evidence of atrocities being committed, and where our allies, the Kurds, frankly, are facing what looks like a betrayal from the United States that could have very negative consequences and impacts for us globally,” she told reporters Wednesday.

Cheney also took a swipe at Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulFive things to watch in two Ohio special election primaries Up next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators MORE (R-Ky.) for his position on the country’s involvement in Northern Syria, arguing the United States plays a critical role in ensuring the region is stable.

"That is the right thing to do, we are the only ones who can do it and if we step away from that role, if we go down the path that’s been suggested by Senator Paul and others, into isolationism then others will fill that void and we are going to face a possibility of living in a world where America’s not setting the rules, but our adversaries — the Chinese, the Russians, the Iranians — are setting the rules and that is not a world anybody wants to live in,” she continued at the press conference.  

“So it’s very important that we make sure that we maintain America’s global engagement and that we consider the costs of inaction, we consider the costs of having to go back into situations where we’ve withdrawn from. We do not want to repeat the mistakes of the Obama era, which created the mess that we have inherited."

The bill follows Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate Graham says he has COVID-19 'breakthrough' infection Graham, Cuellar press Biden to name border czar 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.) introducing a similar measure in the upper chamber earlier this month.