(July 18, 2019 / JNS) The U.S. House of Representatives will have a vote next week on a measure condemning the anti-Israel BDS movement.
“[Democratic House] leadership has given us assurances that we will have a vote on this resolution next week, and that, of course, is our ultimate objective,” James Adams, communications director for U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), told JNS on Thursday.
This assurance led to the postponement of a scheduled press conference on Thursday on Capitol Hill by Gottheimer, Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) and Steve Watkins (R-Kan.).
The anti-BDS resolution, which also reaffirms support for the Jewish state, advanced out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. It was introduced by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Ann Wagner (R-Mo.). It currently has 341 co-sponsors: 173 Democrats and 168 Republicans.
“Support for Israel has long been a bipartisan pillar of American politics,” said Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.). “Following the committee’s strong endorsement, I hope House leadership will bring this bipartisan resolution to a vote so Congress can reaffirm its close bond with Israel, America’s friend and ally.”
“There is overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress for strengthening our relationship with our vital ally Israel, the leading democracy in the Middle East. The passage of H.Res.46 by the Foreign Affairs Committee is a testament to that,” said Gottheimer. “I’m looking forward to this measure being brought to a vote on the House floor, to emphasize the broad support for a two-state solution, and for combating bias and anti-Semitism.”
However, progressives on Capitol Hill have been calling on House Democratic leadership not to bring up the measure for a vote.
“I think the timing would not be very wise to take up additional measures around the Middle East,” said Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told Politico.
The anti-BDS resolution advanced out of the Foreign Affairs Committee the same day Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) introduced a resolution in support of the BDS movement, comparing it to boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.