Rounds cosponsors bill opposing Trump's Syria withdrawal

Rounds cosponsors bill opposing Trump's Syria withdrawal


U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, is cosponsoring a Senate resolution opposing President Donald Trump’s troop policy in Syria.

Rounds’ name was added to the resolution’s cosponsor list Monday, when the list of cosponsors grew to 22, all of them Republican. The resolution was introduced Oct. 22 by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.

Rounds did not release a statement about his decision to cosponsor the bill, and his office did not immediately reply with a comment when the Journal asked for one Tuesday afternoon.

Rounds is the second member of South Dakota’s all-Republican congressional trio to formally attach himself to legislation opposing Trump’s Syria policy.

On Oct. 16, U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, voted with 128 other Republicans and 225 Democrats to pass a House resolution opposing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.

Trump ordered U.S. forces in Syria to step aside in early October in the face of Turkey's warning that it would invade and create a "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border. The U.S. withdrawal effectively abandoned a Kurdish militia that had partnered with U.S. troops to fight the Islamic State terrorist group.

McConnell’s Senate resolution, which has not received a vote, proposes to formally state that Congress “strongly opposes any abandonment of our Kurdish and Arab partners in Syria.”

Among other things, the resolution denounces Turkey’s invasion of Syria, says the withdrawal of American troops should be halted "where practical," and says the U.S. should continue using air power to attack IS fighters in Syria.

As of Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who ranks second in Senate leadership behind McConnell, had not signed on as a cosponsor of the McConnell resolution.

On Oct. 15, Politico quoted Thune responding to questions about possible Senate Republican responses to Trump’s Syria policy.

“We’re probably going to be discussing a number of different options on the best approach there,” Thune was quoted as saying in the Politico report. “As you know, there are very strong objections among our members to what’s happening in Syria.”

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