“We let Turkey into NATO to protect them from the Soviet Union,” Mr. McCaul said. “And now our NATO ally is buying Russian equipment, Russian military equipment and, through its invasion into Syria, threatening our allies.”
Only a handful of libertarian-minded Trump allies have come to the president’s defense.
Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, the chairman of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, argued in an op-ed for The Hill newspaper on Tuesday that Mr. Trump’s decision to “pursue diplomacy” is an approach that “seems to already be bearing fruit.”
For now, the tougher sanctions approved by the House are likely to remain stalled. To enact them, the legislation would have to pass the Republican-led Senate and be signed by Mr. Trump. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, has said that, for now at least, he does not intend to bring up any such measure.
“We need to think extremely carefully before we employ the same tools against a democratic NATO ally that we would against the worst rogue states,” Mr. McConnell said in a speech. He has introduced his own resolution rebuking the president for the withdrawal of troops from Syria, but that, too, is unlikely to draw broad support. It would put Congress on the record warning against precipitous withdrawals of American troops from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a provision that is intended to politically jam Democrats, who — notwithstanding their criticism of the president’s pullback in Syria — have long called for pulling United States troops out of the Middle East.
Some Republican senators, however, hope to press forward with sanctions. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and Senator Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, have introduced their own package of more punitive sanctions, with provisions that would cut off U.S. military assistance to Turkey and bar President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey from visiting the United States.
Republican senators have also privately pressed Mr. Trump for months to impose sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of a Russian antiaircraft system called the S-400. Mr. Trump already punished Ankara for acquiring the surface-to-air missile system in July by canceling the sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets, but lawmakers in both parties believe Mr. Trump is legally obligated by a 2017 law to go further and enact sanctions.
“On a strong bipartisan basis, Congress has made it clear that there must be consequences for President Erdogan’s misguided S-400 acquisition, a troubling signal of strategic alignment with Putin’s Russia and a threat to the F-35 program,” the top Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees said in a joint statement.
In July, Republican senators met with Mr. Trump at the White House in the hopes of convincing the president to impose sanctions on Turkey. But after a freewheeling meeting that often veered off-topic, the lawmakers left with the impression that the president was not interested in such a move, a Republican senator who attended said.