A bill sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was placed on the Senate calendar. The bill, “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019” is wide-ranging in scope, and on several instances mentions the perceived threat of Iran and its presence in Syria as a primary reason for America’s continued military presence in the region.
The bill faced a rocky start after many otherwise “Yea” votes stalled on the bill out of frustration with the ongoing government shutdown. Additionally, an amendment introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was seen by some detractors, (particularly Senator Chris Murphy) as giving the President too much authority to potentially go to war with Iran. The amendment passed 70Y-26N. Ultimately, on February 6, 2019 the bill passed the Senate 77Y-23N. Up next the House may consider a complementary piece of legislation introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX10).