Statement ● Foreign Affairs
For Immediate Release: 
October 16, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in support of a resolution opposing the President's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria. The resolution passed with a strong bipartisan vote of 354-60. Below is a video and excerpts from his remarks:
 

Click here to watch the full remarks.
 
“Mr. Speaker, Americans knew when President Trump took office that he was inexperienced in foreign policy and national security. Also alarming, in my view, is his penchant for putting his own self-interest ahead of America’s interests and America’s national security. That troubles the world.”

“The disastrous consequences are becoming obvious to Americans more and more each day as we watch thousands of our Kurdish allies… fleeing, ISIS gathering strength, and Iran and Russia and Assad advantaged.”

“There's rightly been broad, bipartisan shock and condemnation that President Trump would so recklessly endanger America’s allies, permit the release of thousands of violent ISIS extremists, and give to Vladimir Putin’s aims in Syria. In short, he just opened the door for ISIS to reclaim some power. Any terrorist attack they now take part in will be as a direct result of this action.”

“President Trump has betrayed the trust, in my opinion, of the American people. He has also betrayed America’s friends. The Kurdish forces in… Northern Syria had been among America’s most reliable and effective local allies. It was their blood and sacrifice that led, in part, to this being significantly successful against ISIS. It is their young men and women in uniform who've been guarding ISIS prisoners, who if released, have vowed to resume attacking Americans and destabilizing the Middle East. In that effort, we may lose further American lives, precious to us, precious to their families, precious to our country.”

“Our Kurdish allies trusted us to have their backs… It took years to build them into an effective fighting force, and now America is turning its back and undoing years of efforts and progress. How shameful. How irresponsible." 

"America’s reputation as a world leader depends on the bond of our word… If we abandon our allies, we will have none when we need them to stand with us. Not only has President Trump abandoned the Kurds, but he has also refused to join the world leaders in considering the Turkish attack in the United Nations. Instead, he chose to stand with Vladimir Putin and is doing his bidding, once again, by handing large swaths of Syria to his control. He is moving in as we speak... President Trump has also chosen to stand with Bashar al-Assad, as I said, a tyrant who has gassed his own people with chemical weapons and murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians… And he has chosen to play into the hands of the Iranian ayatollahs…”

"In summary, Mr. Speaker, the President's actions empower ISIS, betray our Kurdish allies, embolden Russia, reward the Assad regime, benefit Iran, and endanger Israel.”

"This is not a partisan issue. This is about America. This is about our allies. This is about international security and stability."

"It is critical, Mr. Speaker, that this House, the people's House, make clear to the world that President Trump's reckless actions do not carry the support of the American people. It is critical that we condemn Turkey's incursion as well and to do so in a bipartisan way. That is what this legislation will do, and I want to commend all of those from the Foreign Affairs Committee who [worked on this bill]..."

"The House will do everything in its power to reassure our allies and remind our adversaries that America does not cut and run - that we stand by our word and hold true to our values and stand with our friends. I hope they'll hear us and understand that this action by this President must not mar the goodwill or erode the steadfast principles upon which our country has engaged with the world throughout our history and, surely again, in the future. I urge my colleagues to vote yes."