SEVERE WX : Frost Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Senate to debate and vote on Syria policy next week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday the Senate will vote as early as next week on a broa...

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 9:32 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2019 9:32 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday the Senate will vote as early as next week on a broad Middle East policy bill, one that will allow senators to express their misgivings about President Donald Trump's controversial decision to bring US troops home from Syria.

The bill doesn't specifically counter the withdrawal -- a surprise move that alarmed foreign policy hawks like Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina but also more mainstream rank-and-file members from each party --- but does include new sanctions against the Syrian government that will open the door to debate about the sudden change in US policy and its impact.

Continents and regions

Embargoes and sanctions

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

International relations

International relations and national security

Legislation

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Mitch McConnell

Political Figures - US

Politics

Syria

Syria conflict

Unrest, conflicts and war

US Congress

US Senate

North America

The Americas

United States

Critics of the decision believe it will leave a void in war-torn Syria that could be filled by Russia and Iran.

Speaking on the floor, McConnell said he expects the Senate debate could be "contentious" and that he hopes the White House and Congress will be "deliberate and sober" as they consider US options in Syria.

"There are differing views about the role of the US military with respect to the threats emanating from Syria," McConnell said. "There is no question that we continue to face serious challenges from Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, as well as from Iran, Russia, and the Assad regime itself. And I anticipate this body will debate US military strategy towards Syria in coming weeks as it conducts oversight over the administration's apparently ongoing review of its policies."

"There are no easy solutions in Syria. I hope the administration and the Congress will be deliberate and sober as we consider the risks of various approaches to the end-game of the fight against the physical caliphate of ISIS. After all, American lives, critical national security interests, and the future of a turbulent yet critical region are at stake. That debate is forthcoming. I imagine it could be contentious," he added.

Debate on the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East bill will take place next week, with a key procedural vote to break a filibuster scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. McConnell said a final vote could happen as before the end of the week.

The measure combines four bills with bipartisan backing that moved through Congress last year: Two that are aimed at strengthening US ties with Israel and Jordan, two of Syria's neighbors, a third is aimed at crippling the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. The fourth bill provides for additional sanctions at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

It is sponsored by McConnell, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Sen, James Risch, an Idaho Republican and the incoming chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

"This package of legislation is an important step toward finishing the work of the last Congress. Israel and Jordan have been steadfast allies of the United States that deserve this support," Risch said in a statement Thursday, when the bill was introduced on the first day of the new Congress. "Also, it is vital to confront Syrian government atrocities and end discrimination against Israel. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee reviewed these bills last Congress and they had near unanimous support. It is time to move them forward."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99134

Reported Deaths: 2089
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27728936
Ramsey11209325
Dakota7724127
Anoka6343138
Stearns411925
Washington395055
Scott266333
Olmsted254428
Nobles197916
St. Louis174742
Blue Earth17437
Wright17137
Clay145741
Carver14517
Rice13518
Mower13486
Sherburne118514
Kandiyohi10573
Winona92318
Lyon7384
Waseca7228
Benton5683
Crow Wing56318
Steele5602
Nicollet55317
Freeborn5484
Watonwan5354
Chisago5221
Todd5142
McLeod5032
Le Sueur4804
Beltrami4735
Otter Tail4734
Martin46211
Goodhue3929
Douglas3622
Pine3610
Itasca35616
Polk3344
Isanti3241
Becker2862
Carlton2861
Morrison2802
Dodge2680
Pipestone23910
Chippewa2331
Cottonwood2290
Meeker2142
Wabasha2080
Sibley2033
Yellow Medicine2003
Brown1992
Cass1884
Rock1841
Redwood1805
Murray1762
Mille Lacs1723
Renville1638
Jackson1541
Unassigned15453
Faribault1490
Swift1451
Houston1350
Fillmore1340
Kanabec1318
Hubbard1261
Roseau1250
Koochiching1234
Pennington1201
Lincoln1180
Stevens1071
Pope1000
Aitkin881
Big Stone830
Wadena730
Lac qui Parle721
Wilkin713
Grant644
Lake610
Norman580
Marshall531
Mahnomen491
Red Lake451
Traverse360
Clearwater320
Lake of the Woods241
Kittson120
Cook70

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 88834

Reported Deaths: 1349
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk16204264
Woodbury568268
Johnson520327
Black Hawk455992
Linn4199115
Story350717
Dubuque347443
Scott312829
Dallas286038
Pottawattamie222539
Buena Vista202612
Marshall180235
Sioux17533
Wapello134557
Webster132714
Plymouth119121
Clinton115222
Muscatine113856
Crawford11176
Cerro Gordo107622
Warren9726
Jasper88334
Des Moines8249
Marion7799
Henry7774
Tama75732
Carroll7115
Lee6667
Wright6031
Dickinson5546
Boone5328
Bremer5137
Washington49311
Delaware4663
Louisa43915
Mahaska43520
Lyon3904
Jackson3683
Floyd3575
Franklin35318
Clay3504
Winneshiek3468
Benton3441
Hamilton3373
Poweshiek3278
Winnebago32514
Hardin3111
Buchanan2991
Jones2953
Kossuth2900
Butler2802
Emmet27910
Shelby2781
Sac2750
Chickasaw2741
Clayton2713
Guthrie27110
Clarke2703
Harrison2705
Cherokee2692
Allamakee2656
Cedar2561
Madison2452
Fayette2402
Grundy2294
Iowa2291
Palo Alto2140
Page2080
Hancock2032
Mills2031
Humboldt1963
Calhoun1953
Mitchell1950
Howard1937
Cass1812
Osceola1810
Pocahontas1682
Monona1671
Monroe16311
Lucas1596
Union1463
Appanoose1443
Taylor1431
Jefferson1411
Ida1352
Davis1304
Fremont1250
Van Buren1221
Keokuk1201
Worth1100
Greene1090
Montgomery1005
Audubon911
Wayne893
Adair761
Decatur670
Ringgold532
Adams380
Unassigned40
Rochester
Broken Clouds
53° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 53°
Mason City
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 51°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 50°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 50°
Cooler and cloudier for Thursday, isolated rain chances
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Chamber Hosts Black Tie Affair For Annual Meeting

Image

Flats 55 Opens In Stewartville

Image

Halloween Decorations Vandalized

Image

New Fligth From RST

Image

Sean's Weather 10/1

Image

Protecting yourself from online hackers

Image

Bier, Mustafa face off for District Five

Image

Pigskin Preview 2020: Byron Bears Pt. 2

Image

Pigskin Preview 2020: Pine Island Panthers

Image

Former Minnesota AG Swanson responds to Trump's Duluth rally

Community Events