Seven House Republicans promote vote on anti-BDS bill

The group promotes a package of four different Middle East-related bills.

Brian Mast (photo credit: CAMPAIGN WEBSITE)
Brian Mast
(photo credit: CAMPAIGN WEBSITE)
WASHINGTON – A group of seven House Republicans announced Wednesday they would start collecting signatures from members of Congress to bring anti-BDS legislation to a vote on the House floor.
Rep. Brian Mast (R-Florida) filed a discharge petition, in an attempt to achieve 218 signatures that would secure a vote. Given that there are currently 197 serving Republicans in the House of Representatives, Mast said he hopes to get support from at least 21 House Democrats.
The group is promoting a package of four Middle East-related bills. According to minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s office, the first is the Combating BDS Act of 2019 that would allow state and local governments to adopt laws to divest public funds from entities that boycott Israel. Other legislation, “The Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Act of 2019,” would authorize security assistance to Israel for 10 years.
A third bill, “The US-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act,” would extend Jordan’s eligibility to receive special treatment for transfer of US defense articles and services. Lastly, “The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019,” would provide the administration with tools to sanction those who provide significant financial, material or technological support to the Assad regime’s war against the Syrian people.
“We have witnessed the rise of antisemitism and anti-Israel hate throughout the world, in our nation, on college campuses and within the halls of Congress, and whether this bigotry is brazen or it’s blatant antisemitism deceptively called ‘legitimate’ we must crush it wherever it exists,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-New York) said. “The American people deserve to know where each and every one of us stands and what we are willing to do about it, which is why we’re doing what House Democratic leadership won’t: unapologetically bringing legislation to the floor that not only condemns the BDS movement but helps stop it.”
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) added, “For decades, American support for Israel has been unwavering and bipartisan. But today, we are confronting a pivotal moment.”
She urged all members of Congress to sign the petition.
“Members of the House Democratic caucus are attempting to erode our long-standing support by spreading anti-Israel and antisemitic beliefs,” she continued. “Unfortunately, Democratic leadership is acting as an enabler. We face too dangerous a situation to stand idly by. When it comes to antisemitism, what begins as a few remarks can all too easily mutate into something much worse.
“Everyone, especially elected officials, has an obligation to forcefully condemn this sort of hateful rhetoric,” she said.