House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi confronts President Donald Trump over his Syrian withdrawal decision at a White House meeting. (Photo: White House)
Oct. 17, 2019 by David Silverberg
In a definitive, bipartisan, overwhelming vote, the US House of Representatives yesterday condemned President Donald Trump’s precipitous withdrawal of US forces and betrayal of its Kurdish allies.
The bill, House Joint Resolution (HJRes) 77, “Opposing the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria” required a two-thirds vote to pass and did so decisively by 354 to 60 votes.
Southwest Florida’s congressional delegation split on the motion. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25-Fla.) joined 128 other Republicans in voting for the bill. Rep. Greg Steube (R-17-Fla.) joined 59 other Republicans in opposing it. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-19-Fla.) was absent.
As of this writing, none of the congressmen had issued statements explaining their actions or absences.
In addition to opposing Trump’s decision and calling for an end to Turkish operations the bill also called on the administration to aid the Kurds with humanitarian assistance and restrain the Turkish military. Lastly, it called “on the White House to present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS.”
The bill has now gone to the Senate for consideration.
Following passage of the bill, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-12-Calif.) and Democratic lawmakers went to the White House to discuss the Syrian situation. That meeting devolved into a stormy confrontation between Pelosi and Trump, with Trump calling her a “third rate” or “third grade” politician and Pelosi telling Trump: “all roads with you lead to Putin.” Both sides characterized the other’s behavior as a “meltdown.” (An in-depth account of the meeting as reported by The New York Times can be read here.)
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© 2019 by David Silverberg