A bipartisan group of lawmakers is attempting to controversy at the eleventh hour to include a disputed language in a year-end spending bill prohibiting US companies from participating in boycott of Israel launched by the United Nations or similar groups was called.
Sen. Ben Cardin Benjamin (Ben) Louis CardinIsrael boycott the fight against seething Democrats in the spending debate at the end of the year Senator: McConnell does not want a shutdown, but has to withstand Trump Overnight Defense: Senate wants to vote on Bill's support Ending for the Saudi War | House GOP blocks Yemen war votes for rest of the year | Trump Throws Uncertainty Into the Pentagon Budget Keyword to Leave Transgender Troops Prohibition to the Courts MORE (D-Md.) And other members urge the congressional leaders to submit their Israeli anti-boycott legislation to a comprehensive omnibus spending package ̵
"There is a bipartisan interest in this issue, but everything is still being negotiated and nothing has been decided," said a high-ranking Republican of the House.
Proponents of the measure say they would simply extend an existing ban on companies that participated in anti-Israeli boycotts led by foreign governments to governments staged by international government organizations (IGOs).
"We do not want our companies being forced to implement other countries' decisions to boycott US allies," he told a Cardin spokesman.
But the provision has been hammered by human rights and freedom of speech teams, who claim that the proposal prioritizes a stranger's concern about constitutionally guaranteed First Amendment protection. These protections, critics say, include the right to participate in the so-called Boycott, Disposal and Sanctions Movement (BDS) – an international campaign aimed at urging Israel on human rights issues in the context of the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict – regardless of who coordinates these activities.
"This bill sets a precedent for sanctioning First Amendment measures because they are unpopular or because the government disapproves of them," said Manar Waheed, chief civil and political advocate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). ,
"This is a step towards erosion of the rights of First Amendment in a manner that will affect movements and positions for the future."
A decision to attach the language to a massive annual settlement law It certainly will Controversial, especially on the democratic side of the Ganges, where a number of liberal legislators have accused Israel of human rights violations in the context of the decades-long Palestinian conflict.
Rep. Betty McCollum Betty Louise McCollumIsrael Boycott War Chokes Democrats in End of Issue Debate Key Dem legislator protests against building a new Redskins Stadium on federal Dem legislator: Trump tries to defy our opponents at the expense of national security to help & # 39; MORE (D-Minn.) Warned last week in a warning that congressional leaders are working arbitrarily "to turn the language into a must-pass law that criminalises politically-motivated boycotts against Israel."
The Office of the Minority Chief Nancy Pelosi Nancy Patricia D Alesandro PelosiIsraeli boycott fights against seething Democrats Debate McConnell predicts no closure: Trump "flexible" in the border agreement Ocasio-Cortez had the highest percentage of small Donors in the meantime: Report MORE (D-Calif.), Who is ready to take over the spokesman's hammer next year, declined to comment on the merits of the legislation.
A high-ranking member of the House Democratic proposed that the issue be necessarily scheduled for next year if talks over a bus fail and Congress is forced to pass a short-term Ongoing Resolution (CR).
"More likely a CR, so this would have no place to go," said the consultant.
The Minority Leader's Office in the Senate Charles Schumer Charles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMake Trump Belongs to Shutdown over his ill-advised boundary wall More Than a Tantrum McConnell's Marijuana Mystery: Cory Gardner MORE (DN .Y.) Declined to comment on the notes while a spokesman from Sen. Mitch McConnell Addison Mitchell McConnellIsrael boycotted the war suppressors of Democrats in the year-end debate Schumer proposes a GOP petition for the immigration "Slush Fund Trump: "Too Soon to Say" MORE Should Be Withdrawal (R-Ky.) The majority leader has no intention of negotiating the spending bill through the press.
Co-sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman Robert (Rob) Jones PortmanIsrael Boycott Fights Roils Democrats in Year-End Debate Debate Drug Corporation Offers Cheaper Opioid Overdose Treatment After Price Increased 600 Percent The Hill & # 39; s Morning Report – Featured by T-Mobile – Congress is expected to act soon to avoid a shutdown MORE (R-Ohio), the Cardin anti-boycott legislation is just one of many provisions passed by lawmakers is one of the last legislation to be considered before the end of the year.
The law responds to a resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2016 to create a database of international companies operating in disputed areas occupied by Israel, including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Proponents of the proposal say it is a simple extension of the anti-boycott language adopted in 1977 as part of changes to the Export Administration Act designed to prevent US companies from being forced into boycott with foreign support Their Better Judgment At the time, the concern was the boycott of the Arab League against Israel, which contained blacklists urging international corporations to join the cause.
Bill advocates say there is an urgent need to pass the legislation now as the UNHRC pushes its database.
"It is this movement of international governmental organizations – particularly the UNHRC – that increases the urgency of achieving this sooner or later," said Cardins spokesman. "Because they are not waiting for the congress. They only plow forward.
The critics see another reason for the urge to postpone legislation this month. Democrats will take control of the house next year, and some of the incoming Democratic newcomers were vocal supporters of the BDS movement, including Rep. Elects Rashida Tlaib and Rashida Harbi TlaibIsrael boycott in the fight against roils Democrats In the spending debate at the end of the year Liberal groups are starting efforts to achieve progressives in important committees of the House. Democrats must stand up for Israel. MORE (D-Mich.), The daughter of Palestinian immigrants, and Ilhan Omar Ilhan OmarIsrael boycott fight against the Democrats in the year-end dispute Ilhan Omar: Every day Trump approaches the indictment , The Democrats must stand up for Israel. MORE (D-Minn.), The first Somali-American Congressman.
"There is a reason why members of Congress, the leadership in Congress, are trying to do so through a spending bill without debate before the new Congress, and that's because they know they will support the legislation less In this way, it violates the First Amendment in the new Congress, "said ACLU President Waheed.
Two federal courts rely on the critic's argument and this year ruled against anti-boycott legislation passed by Israeli lawmakers in Kansas and Arizona. Both lawsuits were filed by the ACLU, which had launched a similar challenge in Arkansas and filed another in Texas on Tuesday.
"This is clearly part of a larger effort to silence the speech on this issue," said Waheed.
The debate comes when the congressional leaders adopt a series of seven federal spending bills before midnight to prevent a conflict in part state closure. The negotiations were President Trump involved. Donald John TrumpREAD: Minutes from James Comeys Interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: "I think you want votes from the Midwest" debate on spending MORE demands that Homeland Security funding be $ 5 billion for the Including the rebuilding of the US-Mexico Border Wall, which was central to its 2016 campaign – a demand that is not among Democratic leaders.
Some advocates of anti-boycott legislation said they were in no hurry to push legislation through Congress this year.
Rep. Eliot Engel Eliot Lance AngelIsrael boycott fight against Democrats in year-end debate The House legislature is delaying the decision on Saudi Arabia in anticipation of the GOP-controlled Senate breaches with Trump at Saudi vote MORE (DN.Y .) The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the next Congress believes that it will be extremely difficult to put "everything" of importance this month in a collective bill.
"We are realistic about what you can get and what's not going to happen, "Engel said.
" I'm not so worried because we're going to take over next year, "he continued." If we do not make it now, we'll have plenty of time in January and February get started. "