Home Law Here’s what Ohio politicians said about President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria

Here’s what Ohio politicians said about President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria

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The U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of a bipartisan resolution Wednesday afternoon that rebukes President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from northern Syria. The resolution passed 354-60. 

The two Republican congressmen who represent southeastern Ohio — Rep. Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington and Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta — joined 127 other GOP representatives voting in favor of the resolution, opposing Trump’s decision. 

On Wednesday, Stivers released a critical initial statement of Trump’s Syria policy in response to Turkey’s offensive against the U.S. allied Kurds that had begun.

“It is now clear that the presence of U.S. troops was a stabilizing force in Northern Syria,” Stivers said in a Tweet. “Within two days of the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Turkish forces have read the decision as an invitation to launch offensive operations against our partners, the Kurdish forces. This could increase the flow of refugees into neighboring countries and create power that could allow ISIS to regroup.”

Stivers criticized the president in a tweet, saying that “the chaos and violence that has resulted from this misguided decision is no way to repay our partners in the fight against ISIS.” 

Johnson released a far less critical statement that explained his ‘yes’ vote on the resolution in a Facebook post. 

“There is no doubt that President Trump inherited a really bad deal with the current situation in Syria,” Johnson said. “Although I remain a strong supporter of the President, I do not agree with this decision to pull out a small number of forces from Syria along the Turkish border, endangering the Kurds and leaving an open question as to what will happen to thousands of ISIS fighters being held there.”

Johnson added the following: “We must fight and eliminate threats to our way of life where they originate before they come to America. … I also don’t like the idea of us abandoning the Kurds who fought alongside our troops in defeating ISIS. There are always reasons to leave, and there are always reasons to stay. Weighing those factors, I voted to support this resolution.”

The two representatives generally don’t vote against the president much at all. Stivers has voted in line with Trump 95.6% of the time, while Johnson has voted in line 97.9% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Ohio’s entire congressional delegation voted in favor of the resolution, with the exception of Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, and Warren Davidson, R-Troy. The two — particularly Jordan — are staunch allies of Trump. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, was the only Ohio representative to not vote on the resolution.

Ohio’s Democratic senator, Sherrod Brown said in a Tweet: “President Trump’s approach to foreign policy has betrayed our Kurdish allies while threatening the lives of innocent civilians.”

Even Republican senator, Rob Portman, was critical of the president. 

“What we had developed over time was the ability to at least keep the peace in that region. Now, it’s just a much more chaotic situation,” he said.

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