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McConnell Amendment Warns Against Hasty Middle East Withdrawal

Do you support or oppose McConnell's amendment?

by Countable | 1.31.19

(Updated 1/31/19 4:00pm): The Senate voted to advance the McConnell amendment on a bipartisan 68-23 vote. A vote on adopting the amendment will likely occur next week, when Senate will also vote on the underlying bill ― the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act.

The Senate will vote today on an amendment to the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act that would express the sense of Congress that the Trump administration should review its strategy of withdrawing from Syria and Afghanistan to ensure it doesn’t allow a resurgence of al Qaeda and ISIS.

Offered by Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the amendment is a non-binding expression of the sense of Congress that:

  • The U.S. and its partners have played a positive role in Syria and Afghanistan by fighting terrorist groups, countering Iranian aggression, deterring further use of chemical weapons, and protecting human rights;
  • A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from the ongoing fight without effective countervailing efforts to secure gains could allow terrorists to regroup and destibilize these regions and create a vacuum which could be filled by Russia or Iran.
  • Diplomatic negotiations to secure peace and reconciliation in Syria and Afghanistan are gaining traction but are fragile;
  • The Trump administration should “pursue a strategy that sets the conditions for the long-term defeat of al Qaeda and ISIS, as well as the protection of regional partners and allies, while ensuring that Iran cannot dominate the region or threaten Israel;” and
  • The administration should certify those conditions for the enduring defeat of al Qaeda and ISIS are met before any significant U.S. withdrawal.

Today’s vote is on a “cloture motion” to limit further debate on the amendment to no more than 30 hours if at least 60 senators vote to “invoke” cloture.

If it succeeds, a vote to adopt the amendment could occur next week when the Senate votes on the underlying bill ― although senators could do so sooner if unanimous consent is granted.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: / AWSeebaran)


Written by Countable

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