Speed Reads

a rare act of bipartisanship

Senate rebukes Trump's plan to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan

The Senate voted on Thursday to advance legislation opposing President Trump's withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria and Afghanistan.

The measure, an amendment to a Middle East policy bill expected to pass next week, was drafted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and passed in a bipartisan vote of 68-23. In December, Trump said the Islamic State has been defeated, and he would pull 2,000 troops from Syria and 7,000 from Afghanistan. The amendment states that "the precipitous withdrawal of United States forces from either country could put at risk hard-won gains and United States national security."

It was backed by almost every Senate Republican, with some liberal senators voting against it, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sanders told reporters the United States has "been in Afghanistan for a longer period than any war in American history; Syria, we've been there for too long and we've got to get out. What McConnell is saying is, 'Let's maintain the status quo.'"