Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer today went to the Senate floor to make a unanimous consent request to immediately pass S2755, a bill requiring the Trump administration to submit a report on the plan to secure the enduring defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) objected to the request, blocking this critical national security legislation, even after ongoing tensions in Northeast Syria, including the escape of at least one hundred ISIS detainees—a result of President Trump’s decision to greenlight Turkey’s military invasion of northern Syria—and ongoing threats posed by ISIS to our national security.
Below are Leader Schumer’s remarks:
It’s now been several weeks since the president asked our troops to leave a critical sector in northern Syria and subsequently lots of things happened, including at least 100—and probably more—ISIS prisoners escaping, and uncertainty as to who is guarding the prisons where ISIS prisoners are kept, and a lack of a whole strategy as to how to continue the fight against ISIS. ISIS is not vanquished, they are weakened but not vanquished and we all know that ISIS can come back. We all know that a small group thousands of miles away can do untold damage in our homeland.
And yet, we still have no plan that we’ve heard from the administration about how we’re dealing with ISIS. How are we dealing with the prisoners who escaped? How are we dealing with the prisoners who are still incarcerated? And how are we dealing with ISIS overall? This is one of the greatest security threats America faces and I would hope that we could pass this proposal which simply demands that the administration report to Congress on what their plan is to deal with ISIS. It’s that simple. That’s the immediate danger.
I know my friend, the Senator from Florida, wants to talk about what happened in the past. We can argue that all day long, but the immediate danger is ISIS. The ISIS prisoners who’ve escaped, the ISIS prisoners who are incarcerated, the ISIS members who still are around. We don’t have a strategy and it’s one of the greatest failings of foreign policy not only of this administration but of any administration.
A resolution passed the House a while ago, it has laid fallow here. All we are asking here in this legislation is very simple, and that is to report on the strategy to secure the enduring defeat of the Islamic State.
I hope we will not hear objection. I don’t see how anyone could object when the security of America is at risk, when ISIS is still a danger. Every one of us could come up with an amendment to make it better, we know we won’t get it done if that happens. So I hope we can move this forward and then we can debate other issues that are not directly dispositive here, because we have an immediate crisis and we need a report.
[Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) objected to the request.]