Senate Democrats block pro-Israel, anti-BDS bill

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The bill is unlikely to move forward in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has dismissed it as political theater.

Manchin described the bill as a rebuke to anti-Semitism in the BDS movement. Although conservative allies of the president are urging him to declare a national emergency to build his proposed border wall with military funding, he isn't expected to do that in his remarks.

But Democrats characterized the vote as a signal of whether Republicans actually support protecting pre-existing conditions, as they asserted throughout the 2018 midterm campaign season.

This week's action in the House will be coupled by a new Democratic strategy in the Senate, where Democrats were coalescing behind a plan to block any legislation on the floor that doesn't reopen the federal government.

The Jewish Democratic Council of America supported the Senate Democrats on the vote, tweeting shortly after that they are "right to insist on reopening the government and ending the #Trumpshutdown".

Republican Senator Marco Rubio's "Combatting BDS Act", seeks to counter the global Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement against Israel over its abuse of Palestinians and occupation of their lands. Anyone who's followed American foreign policy in recent years knows that the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement is an explosive and barely contained hot-button issue for Democrats.

Leaving aside these two representatives' real views, which I oppose, it's risky for democracy if officials blatantly lie to their constituents about issues that can change votes.

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In other words, this bill is about defining acceptable limits on economic activity, not prohibiting individual speech or political activity.

An effort in the Senate to force President Donald Trump to impose new sanctions on Syria is getting caught up in the stalemate over the partial US government shutdown as top Democrats said they'd move to block any legislation that doesn't reopen the government. "But we will try again later this week", Rubio said. The shutdown's resolution has been hampered in part by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who are resistant to compromise on a spending bill that allocates any new funding for the wall.

Controversially, the fourth measure, titled the Combating BDS Act, would allow U.S. states and localities to retaliate commercially against companies or individuals supporting boycott, divestment or sanction campaigns aimed at Israel.

Many Democrats oppose the anti-BDS bill now before Congress, but Rubio went after one of the two Muslim women. "Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away", she added.

"I've worked closely with you on BDS, @MarcoRubio, and disagree with you here", said Cardin, who in the last Congress authored a bill that would set federal fines for commercial entities that comply with BDS.

"They forgot what country they represent", Tlaib, a Palestinian American, wrote on Twitter Sunday. That means that if enough senators stick together, they hold up legislation until the government reopens.

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