update deskIsrael News

Senate Democrats block pro-Israel, anti-BDS bill

If enacted, the legislation would impose fresh sanctions on Syria, and boost security cooperation with Israel and Jordan amid the announced gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.

The U.S. Capitol building in Washington. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
The U.S. Capitol building in Washington. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Senate failed to reach the necessary 60 votes on Tuesday evening to end debate on Republican-introduced legislation that, if enacted, would impose fresh sanctions on Syria, as well as boost security cooperation with Israel and Jordan amid the announced gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. It is also aimed at tackling the anti-Israel BDS movement.

The final tally was 56-44.

At least three Democrats voted for cloture: Arizona’s Krysten Sinema, Alabama’s Doug Jones and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.

Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) expressed opposition to the bill due to the partial government shutdown that has lasted 17 days as U.S. President Donald Trump has refused to sign a spending bill that does not include funding for a border wall with Mexico.

“It’s absurd that the first bill during the shutdown is legislation which punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity,” Sanders said in reference to the anti-BDS measure. “Democrats must block consideration of any bills that don’t reopen the government. Let’s get our priorities right.”

The measure also would reauthorize the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015 to help the Hashemite Kingdom respond to the Syrian refugee crisis, fight the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, and protect its borders with Iraq and Syria.

Finally, the bill would enable state and local governments in the United States to fight the anti-Israel BDS movement.

CUFI expressed disappointment with the vote.

“While we do not agree with the decision to vote against cloture on this bill because of the partial government shutdown, we take those who did at their word and look forward to their supporting the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act when it comes up again for a vote once the government is fully funded. Anything less would constitute opposing important legislation they previously supported,” said the organization’s Action Fund chairwoman Sandra Parker.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates