It has emerged the White House secretly worked to delay a vote on a bipartisan bill aimed at sanctioning Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s government for committing mass human rights abuses against civilians.
The Washington Post reported the Obama administration pressured House Democratic leaders into withdrawing their support for the bill that was named after a Syrian defector, a forensic photographer named Caesar. In 2013, he smuggled 55,000 gruesome pictures of dead torture victims in Syria. The images were later exhibited at the United Nations in New York.
The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act intended “to halt the wholesale slaughter of the Syrian people, encourage a negotiated political settlement, and hold Syrian human rights abusers accountable for their crimes.”
The bill was expected to pass easily through the House of Representatives. However, Democrat lawmakers withdrew their support after the White House lobbyists convinced them to do so.
The Post added the White House purportedly wanted to postpone the bill because of the precarious situation with Russia in the wake of the shaky ceasefire.
GOP members, such as Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif), criticized the move, accusing Obama of "tolerating our enemies.”
“Reports of the Obama administration working to delay a vote on a bipartisan bill to sanction the Assad regime follow the now-familiar pattern of the president tolerating our enemies and neglecting our allies," McCarthy said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.