The House on Tuesday voted down a War Powers Resolution introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) that would order President Biden to withdraw all US troops from Syria within 180 days.
The resolution failed in a vote of 103-321, with 56 Democrats and 47 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. Click here for the roll call to see how each representative voted. In a statement after the vote, Gaetz vowed to continue his effort to end US involvement in Syria.
“There is no role for the United States of America in Syria. We are not a Middle Eastern power. We have tried to build a democracy out of sand, blood, and Arab militias. Time and again, the work we do does not reduce chaos. Oftentimes, it causes chaos – the very chaos that then subsequently leads to terrorism. While today’s vote may have failed, my fight to end forever wars and bring our troops home has only just begun,” he said.
The resolution was led by Gaetz and cosponsored by four other Republicans, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Matt Rosendale (R-MT). It also received support from some progressive Democrats, including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ro Khanna (D-CA).
The Congressional Progressive Caucus was circulating a message to its 100 members in the House to support the bill. But the vote shows that the majority of Congress still supports the US occupation of eastern Syria, where there are currently about 900 US troops deployed.
The US insists its presence in Syria is about fighting ISIS remnants, but it is also part of the economic campaign against Damascus. By backing the Kurdish-led SDF in eastern Syria, the US controls about one-third of the country, an area where most of Syria’s oil fields are located.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley made a rare visit to Syria over the weekend and said continuing the fight against ISIS was worth staying in the country. But the Syrian government, its allies, and other countries in the region are sworn enemies of ISIS. They would continue fighting the group once the US is gone, something Gaetz pointed out when debating the resolution on the House floor.
“Both Assad and Turkey are in stronger positions today to put downward pressure on ISIS, and maybe if we weren’t giving weapons to people shooting at Assad, Assad would have every incentive to be able to engage ISIS in a way to ensure that it doesn’t come back,” Gaetz said.