Democrats vote to delay passage of Israel bill until shutdown ends

Democrats vote to delay passage of Israel bill until shutdown ends

Democrats vote to delay passage of Israel bill until shutdown ends

They instead want Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to take up spending legislation passed by the House last week that would reopen nine agencies and departments that have been closed since December 23.

Democrats are banking on Republicans caving once federal employees go without a paycheck starting Friday.

One section of the bill, called Combating BDS Act of 2019, would protect states that penalize Israel boycotters.

For now, the package will nearly certainly stall.

McConnell also blamed the 18-day partial government shutdown on "Democrats' refusal to negotiate" because of "partisan spite for the president". Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the minority leader.

So this week, top Republican senators and their allies in the Jewish community have pulled out a tried-and-true card to flip the misery to the other side, in this case the Democrats.

Last week, seven Republicans supported a Democratic effort to pass a package of six appropriations bills to fund areas of government that have been shuttered since December 21.

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On Monday, the Florida lawmaker accused Rep. Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress, of using ant-Semitic language when she suggested GOP lawmakers who support the BDS measure were more loyal to Israel than the US.

"You still have time to contact your Senators to again defeat this unconstitutional bill that encourages states to punish people for boycotting for Palestinian rights", declared Josh Ruebner, policy director at the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. "Maybe a refresher on our US Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away", she tweeted.

Finally, the bill would enable state and local governments in the United States to fight the anti-Israel BDS movement. That has led to a "boycott of the boycotts" as Israel pushes back against those aligned with BDS.

"We all agree that we need to secure our borders, while honoring our values: We can build the infrastructure and roads at our ports of entry", Pelosi said.

United States Senator Bernie Sanders has slammed the "absurd" introduction of a bill targeting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as the USA government shutdown continues. "There is bipartisan legislation - supported by Democrats and Republicans - to reopen government while allowing debate over border security to continue". "Let's get those reopened while the negotiations continue". Ben Cardin's office emailed Cardin's official comment: "We should not stand idle when foreign countries or global governmental organizations use BDS tactics to isolate one of our key allies and bypass direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians".

Before Democratic leaders on Saturday announced their plan to advance individual appropriations bills, the House floor schedule for this week consisted of primarily suspension measures - generally noncontroversial bills that are brought to the floor under an expedited process requiring two-thirds support for passage. The American Civil Liberties Union, a key Democratic constituency, has made a priority of killing anti-BDS laws on the state and federal levels.

The first component of the bill gives Israel the largest military aid package in USA history - see our previous report on the $38 billion to Israel package, and how it goes far beyond the Obama MOU.

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