Democratic congressional challenger Tracy Mitrano expressed disappointment in Rep. Tom Reed’s vote Wednesday in a House rebuke of President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria, setting off the Turkish invasion to rout the Kurds.
Reed was the only member of the Republican caucus in New York to vote against the resolution, which passed 354-60. Two-thirds of Republican congressmen voted with Democrats in the presidential rebuke.
“I’m disappointed, but not surprised, to learn that Tom Reed voted against the House resolution,” Mitrano said in a prepared statement Thursday. “It’s the latest addition to the long list of times he has failed to show courage or moral leadership under this president.”
Mitrano said, “Rather than stand with strength and conviction on one side or the other, Reed issues meek, carefully worded statements that fail to clarify his position.”
She said Reed makes half-hearted attempts to distance himself from Trump administration policies, while continuing to support the president himself “regardless of the damage he causes.”
Mitrano said that damage now includes the “catastrophic” decision to abandon allies in the fight against ISIS.
“Syrian Kurds have been our most trusted allies in the fight against ISIS,” she said. “They’ve been essential in helping us remove ISIS from the battlefield and restore stability in that area.”
Mitrano condemned Trump’s decision to remove troops from Syria and called the abandonment of the Kurds a betrayal. It is a clear message to anyone whose support we may seek in the future that the US cannot be trusted as an ally. This is the cost of weak, impulsive leadership.”
Mitrano called on senators to take swift action by “passing the joint resolution to reverse this decision to withdraw from Syria; to protect our Kurdish allies; to ensure that ISIS fighters remain locked up and off the battlefield, and to keep Turkey within their own borders.”
In a tweet, @RepTomReed stated:
”I wasn’t supportive of boots on the ground in Syria during the Obama Administration because Congress never voted on an authorization for the use of military force with clear and definable outcomes, and I’m not supportive of boots on the ground now.”
Reed spokesman Will Reinert said Reed’s reasoning for his vote against the resolution “is that Congress never authorized troops in Syria and has been playing fast and loose with the law since 2001.”
Reinert said, “There has only been one authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and we’ve been deploying forces under its auspices ever since. It’s just 60 words long, and only authorizes military force against those related to 9/11 attacks.”
Reed’s spokesman said, “Tom doesn’t take putting troops in harms way lightly. However, If Congress would vote on a new AUMF for Syria, with clear and definable outcomes for victory, that would be an entirely different situation.”
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)