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GOP senators briefed on administration Syria plan

GOP senators briefed on administration Syria plan
© Greg Nash
A group of GOP senators were briefed at the White House on Thursday about a forthcoming Syria plan from top Pentagon officials.
 
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"There's a plan coming together from the joint chiefs that I think may work, that may give us what we need to prevent ISIS from coming back. ... I am somewhat encouraged that a plan is coming about that will meet our core objectives in Syria," Graham told reporters. 
 
Graham indicated that troops were a part of the discussion within the administration, and signaled that the number of troops could be in the hundreds.
 
"All of that's being talked about. Is that enough? Well it's not thousands — is it enough to get the job done?" Graham said, asked how many U.S. troops would be included in the Pentagon's plan. 
 
He added that he didn't know if the plan would ultimately be approved by Trump.
 
Graham did not provide any other details about troops being sent to the Middle East. Pentagon officials told Fox News that the United States is "likely" to send tanks and soldiers into eastern Syria.
 
Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience The Memo: Trump election loss roils right MORE (R-Tenn.), Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntMcConnell wants deal this week on fiscal 2021 spending figures Graham becomes center of Georgia storm Republicans start turning the page on Trump era MORE (R-Mo.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Wis.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) were among the approximately 10 senators who took part in the White House meeting. 
 
Johnson told NBC News that "we were actually pretty encouraged by what progress is being made in Syria, and kind of what the game plan is."
 
The White House meeting with GOP senators came as Vice President Pence met in the Capitol with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyRichmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight Drastic cuts proposed to Medicare would hurt health care quality MORE (R-Calif.), GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Trump: Liz Cheney's election remarks sparked by push to bring US troops home Biden's lead over Trump surpasses 6M votes as more ballots are tallied MORE (R-Wyo.), former Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship MORE (R-N.C.), and the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas.
 
 
The White House has faced weeks of backlash from Capitol Hill over President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE's decision to pull troops out of northern Syria, paving the way for Turkey's invasion. 
 
Republicans fumed, warning that it would empower the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and harm the Kurds, who helped the United States fight ISIS. 
 
 
Lawmakers are weighing how to respond to Turkey's actions. 
 
The House previously passed a resolution formally opposing Trump's decision to pull back U.S. troops and calling on Turkey to end its incursion. 
 
 
Lawmakers in both parties have also introduced legislation to slap new sanctions on Turkey. The House is expected to vote on a sanctions package as soon as next week.