Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Pro-Israeli BDS bill stalls in US Senate

Pro-Israeli BDS bill stalls in US Senate

With negotiations to end the shutdown at an impasse, Democrats have pledged to continue voting on individual appropriations bills - with votes on two more appropriations bills Thursday covering Agriculture and Interior appropriations.

Even with temporary Democratic opposition, three senators from their side of the aisle - Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama and the newly elected Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona - voted to move forward with the bill, titled the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019. "There's an opportunity for every American to see who wants government open, and our responsibility is not to do what the president of the United States tells us to do". Last week, seven House Republicans voted with Democrats on a package of bills to reopen the government without an immediate resolution on the wall.

Trump has demanded $5.7 billion in funding, but Democratic leaders say they won't pass a bill that pays for his wall.

On the Senate floor, the Kentucky lawmaker said Democrats are hypocritical for their stance on border security, and claimed they are acting with political spite. "Currently, 79% of Republicans say they sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, compared with just 27% of Democrats".

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, resident of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, finds the lack of support for Rubio's bill outrageous. According to Rubio, Democrat leaders are trying to avoid a vote on his bill because it would expose how many Democrat BDS supporters are now in the Senate.

Republicans are in a bind: Polls show Americans blaming US President Donald Trump for the third week of a government shutdown, and the administration is mired in confusion over its Middle East policy.

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Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, the top Republican on the Financial Services Committee, argued the vote Wednesday is "a political stunt" since the House already voted on the bill, and he called it a "second week charade".

"Currently, almost twice as many liberal Democrats say they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel (35% vs. 19%)". The vote count was little changed from the 241-190 vote on January 3 for the six-bill package.

"They're obviously going to try to make us take votes", the Kentucky Republican said of the Democrats, "but we're for it, and we should have handled that better during the election time". Reopening the govt must be our first priority.

Senate Republicans' first bill of the new Congress was meant to insert the legislative branch into President Donald Trump's Middle East policy, but also to drive a wedge between centrist and liberal Democrats over attitudes toward Israel.

"Right now if I did something that was foolish like gave up on border security, the first ones that would hit me are my senators".

"I anticipate this body will debate USA military strategy toward Syria in the coming weeks, as it conducts oversight over the administration's, apparently, ongoing review of its Syria policies", McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said while voicing his support of the legislation last week.

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