The Republican-held Senate reconvened Jan. 4. Its first order of business? Rebuking President Donald Trump over his Syria policy. NBC News reported today that the first bill Senate Republican leadership introduced in the new Congress is an implicit rebuke of Trump’s decision to withdraw some 2,000 US troops from Syria.
Why it matters: Although Congress cannot force the president to maintain troops abroad, Senate aides told NBC that the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is an amalgamation of four bills that did not pass the last Congress and signals lawmakers’ displeasure with the Syria withdrawal. The fact that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman James Risch, R-Idaho, are co-sponsors is a clear indication that Republican leadership frowns on Trump’s military withdrawal.