Senate committee to hold markup on Turkey sanctions bill on Wednesday

After halting efforts for some time to allow the U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to make a deal with Ankara over its purchase of Russian S-400s, U.S. Senator Jim Risch, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has rolled up his sleeves to move forward with legislation to sanction Turkey.

Risch is preparing to mark up a bipartisan sanctions bill against Turkey on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Foreign Relations Committee, a senior staff member at the Committee told Ahval.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed its own Turkey sanctions legislation in October this year in the wake of Turkey's military operation into northern Syria, targeting U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces.

Senators have introduced several bills to sanction Turkey, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has cautioned against imposing sanctions.

"I was willing to let the people talk," Risch last week told CNN, "Very shortly thereafter it changed, and it has gotten worse instead of better."

The bill has the bipartisan support of Risch and Senator Robert Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the panel. 

Risch told CNN that Turkey's S-400 party was over and he expected the bill would pass with overwhelming support with a veto-proof margin.

"I suspect that bill's gonna pass 98-2 on the floor," Risch said.

The measures in the bill will hit Turkey beyond the S-400 issue, such as targeted sanctions and restrictions on Turkish officials, institutions. Earlier versions of the bill included an urge for Trump to oppose any loans from international financial institutions that benefit Turkey, and ban the arms sales tied to operations in Syria that would restrict U.S. arms sales to Turkey and sanction Turkish officials and those involved in providing weapons to Turkey's military in Syria.

Regarding the S-400s, the bill may also require the U.S. president to impose five or more out of 12 possible sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) no later than 30 days after the bill is enacted. 

The final draft has yet to be released. The bill, expected to be released with the markup on Wednesday morning, will reveal whether all of these requirements stay in the introduced bill.