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Washington - Republicans Launch Bid To Force House Vote On BDS

Published on: May 15, 2019 09:30 PM
By: JTA
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Washington - Republicans want to force a vote on a controversial bill meant to oppose the anti-Israel boycott.

The bill, which earlier this year passed the Senate, has been held up in part because the Democrats, who control the U.S. House of Representatives, say it poses a threat to First Amendment free speech protections.

The bill would uphold the right of states to ban Israel boycotters from doing business with the states, and protect the states from lawsuits.

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., on Wednesday filed a discharge petition to get a majority of House members — 218 — to back bringing it to the floor, one of the only means the minority party has of forcing a vote.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the minority whip, must now persuade the entire GOP caucus and at least 21 Democrats to back the petition. He is backed by the minority leader in the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and the majority leader in the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

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Other notable backers of the effort include Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the third-ranked Republican in the House, and the only two Jewish Republican lawmakers, Reps. Lee Zeldin of New York and David Kustoff of Tennessee.

Republicans have pushed anti-boycott measures in part as a means of embarrassing Democrats, who are grappling with a left wing that is increasingly critical of Israel and that includes two House members who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has let the legislation languish on her desk,” McCarthy and McConnell wrote in an op-ed appearing Wednesday on The Washington Post website. “House Republicans, recognizing that Congress should not remain silent on this subject, are employing a rare procedural tool to attempt to force an up-or-down vote on the measure.”

Democrats similarly have used anti-Semitism as a cudgel against Republicans, noting Trump administration rollbacks in programs targeting white supremacists and affiliations between some on the GOP’s right wing and the far-right.



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 15, 2019 at 09:45 PM Oh yeah Says:

I’m sure Pelosi will back this (not), a long with her handlers, AOC, Tlaib, Omar... The good ol’ Anti Semitic Democrat party will soon be put to the test yet again,

2

 May 15, 2019 at 10:50 PM Juno Says:

What a great strategy can't wait to see how all the jew haters in congress vote.

3

 May 15, 2019 at 11:09 PM elyeh Says:

The 2 major anti-Semites in the House are Democrats (regularly making anti-Semitic remarks) - and all the other Democrats make excuses for them but refuse to do anything - even the Democrats who are Yidden.

4

 May 16, 2019 at 12:44 AM PaulinSaudi Says:

You will note they did nothing when they controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. Almost like the Republicans only see this as a way to get votes.

5

 May 16, 2019 at 11:46 AM abilenetx Says:

Dear people you do know you can vote for these people in or you can vote for these people out, they were not born to the position like a kingdom. People fear to vote for anything they don't know so they keep on voting for the same old, same old and yes you will get the same old, same old.

6

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