Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said Tuesday he will strip language from a bill authorizing defense spending that would have expanded U.S. military cooperation with Myanmar.
McCain, R-Ariz., made the announcement in reaction to ongoing strife in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, where the country's Rohingya Muslim population has been forced to flee to Bangladesh, causing a humanitarian crisis.
McCain authored the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act bill setting spending for defense and other U.S. national security budgets. Senate lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the bill this week.
"I can no longer support expanding military-to-military cooperation given the worsening humanitarian crisis and human rights crackdown against the Rohingya people, and will seek to remove this language when the Senate begins debating the NDAA," McCain announced.
McCain noted that the Rohingya have been attacked by the Myanmar's military, which the United Nations has labeled ethnic cleansing.
Last week, McCain and three Democrats introduced a resolution calling on Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to intervene.
"But there has been no action to date," McCain said.
Earlier Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he would not take up the bipartisan resolution.
"I don't favor passing a resolution going after her," McConnell said. "I think she's the greatest hope we have to move Burma from where it has been, a military dictatorship, where I hope she is going."