Mitch McConnell Slams Dem Bill to Expand Voting Rights

Hugh Fox
February 2, 2019

He led all but three Republicans and even a majority of Democrats in backing the language.

Saying that Islamic militant groups in the two countries continue to pose a "serious threat" to the United States, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he had introduced an amendment to a broader Middle East security bill urging a "continued commitment" until al Qaeda, Islamic State and other groups are defeated. In warning against the withdrawal, the Senate argues with that claim. It could also damage our credibility with our allies fighting with us in the coalition, like the Kurdish-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, and raise the possibility ISIS could regain territory.

Trump's vows to cease the "endless wars" in the Middle East and its periphery were a key element to his campaign and, after some false starts, announced last month that the US would be pulling out of Syria.

Although the amendment enjoys bipartisan support, a number of more liberal politicians - some hoping to seek a 2020 presidential bid - voted against the measure on Thursday.

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"The American people do not want endless war". The vote was in part also a condemnation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is suspected of playing a role in the murder of Washington Postjournalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump's public broadsides against the intelligence community ― which follows his denials about the USA intelligence community's assessments regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Russia's intervention in the 2016 presidential election ― irked GOP leadership in the Senate this week.

Trump's desire to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Syria has been cooled by the National Security Establishment in his administration.

A final vote on the overall bill is not expected before next week.

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The non-binding language calls al Qaeda and the Islamic State continuing global threats, contradicting Mr. Trump's Twitter-based foreign policy claims that the fight against worldwide terrorism has been largely wrapped up. "It's going to take a mass movement of people, not just electorally here in the United States... but really putting up a very legitimate and credible alternative to U.S. imperialism".

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said he thinks Trump announced the withdrawals too abruptly, but the United States has been in Afghanistan and Syria for too long. ISIS and al-Qaida have yet to be defeated.

"Syria was loaded with ISIS until I came along".

Democrats are divided on the BDS component of the bill, some saying it impinges on free speech rights of Americans to support boycott efforts against Israel for its treatment of Palestinians and other concerns. "Or do they believe that their base is going to be energized by their no votes on this?" she asked. "The way in which the president announced his Syria withdrawal, with no plan, without consultation with Congress or our allies or consideration of the implications for our partners is not in our interests". Similar rifts exist within Trump's own administration, evident this week when the heads of major USA intelligence agencies testified to the Senate and contradicted him on the strength of the Daesh and several other foreign policy matters.

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