Republicans launch bid to force House vote on BDS

The proposed bill would uphold the right of states to ban Israel boycotters from doing business with the states, and protect the states from lawsuits.

May 16, 2019 00:36
1 minute read.

BDS. (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Republicans want to force a vote on a controversial bill meant to oppose the anti-Israel boycott.

The bill, which earlier this year passed the Senate, has been held up in part because the Democrats, who control the U.S. House of Representatives, say it poses a threat to First Amendment free speech protections.

The bill would uphold the right of states to ban Israel boycotters from doing business with the states, and protect the states from lawsuits.

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., on Wednesday filed a discharge petition to get a majority of House members — 218 — to back bringing it to the floor, one of the only means the minority party has of forcing a vote.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the minority whip, must now persuade the entire GOP caucus and at least 21 Democrats to back the petition. He is backed by the minority leader in the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and the majority leader in the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Other notable backers of the effort include Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the third-ranked Republican in the House, and the only two Jewish Republican lawmakers, Reps. Lee Zeldin of New York and David Kustoff of Tennessee.

Republicans have pushed anti-boycott measures in part as a means of embarrassing Democrats, who are grappling with a left wing that is increasingly critical of Israel and that includes two House members who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has let the legislation languish on her desk,” McCarthy and McConnell wrote in an op-ed appearing Wednesday on The Washington Post website. “House Republicans, recognizing that Congress should not remain silent on this subject, are employing a rare procedural tool to attempt to force an up-or-down vote on the measure.”

Democrats similarly have used anti-Semitism as a cudgel against Republicans, noting Trump administration rollbacks in programs targeting white supremacists and affiliations between some on the GOP’s right wing and the far-right.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

U.S. Democratic congressional Rep. Ilhan Omar attended a gun violence prevention roundtable before s
May 17, 2019
Omar and her Jewish colleague write op-ed on fighting white supremacy