Senate rebukes Trump, advances measure on Syria troops

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., argued in support of the amendment on the Senate floor, saying Trump's withdrawal announcement has already undermined United States credibility in the region. But he is routinely stymied by his own knife-fighting subordinates and fellow partisans in Congress.

McConnell has been one of the most outspoken against H.R. 1, the bill brought forth by House Democrats that proposed the election day holiday, prohibits the purging of voter rolls, requires presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their tax returns, restricts gerrymandering, and provides other measures to open up elections.

The test vote likely means the amendment will be incorporated into the underlying Mideast policy bill, as NPR reported. And it has the making of the widest riff between McConnell and administration-friendly populists since McConnell's war on former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon in 2017. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

"Senator McConnell's amendment is a shot across the bow of the Trump team from the majority of the Republican party that favours active USA engagement in global affairs", Nicholas Heras, a senior fellow at Center for New American Security, told The National.

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The bill was drafted by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has rarely spoken out against Trump or his policies.

But she said she also agreed with McConnell that the "precipitous withdrawal" from either country without political resolutions would risk what troops there have already achieved.

The amendment to a broader Middle East Policy bill easily passed a preliminary procedural vote Thursday 68 to 23, with substantial support from both Democrats and Republicans.

A parallel development: the McConnell row again has forced Trump into the corner of Kentucky's junior senator Rand Paul. McConnell steadfastly backed Trump's right to strike at Bashar Assad in Syria in 2017 and 2018, sans congressional support.

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"Nothing in the McConnell amendment can be construed as an authorization for the use of military force", said Sen. "And it is incumbent upon the United States to lead, to continue to maintain a global coalition against terror, and to stand by our local partners who are engaged in a daily fight against the terrorists", McConnell said. Jim Risch, the new Senate Foreign Relations chair, is skittish on the maneuver, wary of insulting the president at the very least.

But on Thursday, Trump claimed his intelligence chiefs - including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel - told him that they were misquoted by the press, although their testimony was aired live.

Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, tried to have the best of both worlds, blaming Mr. Trump for a "reckless" foreign policy, but ultimately ending up on the same pro-withdrawal side. Elsewhere, opponents of USA sponsorship of the war in Yemen are plotting their killing stroke. Bernie] Sanders, [California Sen. McConnell also used his floor comments Thursday to reaffirm the USA commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which Trump has also threatened to abandon.

"Perseverance is a key ingredient to changing US foreign policy", Paul Kawika Martin, senior director of Peace Action, said Wednesday.

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