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Rubio Challenges Pelosi to Take Real Action in Support of Israel
Washington, D.C. – For the second time in as many months, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) plans to hold a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to condemn the latest anti-Semitic comments made by a member of her conference. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today released a statement urging House Democrats to show they are serious about bolstering America’s security and supporting our important ally Israel by passing Rubio’s Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 (S. 1), which passed in an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 77 to 23 in the Senate on February 5, 2019.
“Yet again, the House will vote to disavow anti-Semitism in an attempt to reassure Americans and our ally Israel that the rising and disturbing public display of anti-Semitism from a few House Democrats is not indicative of the party as a whole,” Rubio said. “Rebuking the anti-Semitic ‘dual loyalty’ canard is important, but words alone are not enough anymore. If House Democrats are serious about reaffirming their support for Israel, they should pass the bipartisan Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act.”
The Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act would bolster the U.S.-Israel strategic alliance by authorizing security assistance to Israel over a 10-year period pursuant to the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding, reauthorize the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015, provide new authorities for sanctions against Syria’s Assad regime and its supporters, and empower state and local governments in the United States to counter the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement’s discriminatory economic warfare against the Jewish state.
Rubio also addressed the growing influence of anti-Semitism and pro-BDS voices on the Left in an op-ed in The New York Times. The piece addresses false claims made by anti-Israel activists regarding the pro-Israel Combating BDS Act, a bipartisan measure included in the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act. Read it here.
S. 1 incorporates four bipartisan bills that Congress nearly enacted into law in 2018:
- Rubio-Coons United States-Israel Security Authorization Assistance Act of 2018 (S. 2497EAH). Passed by Senate in voice vote on August 1, 2018. Amended and passed by House of Representatives in voice vote on September 12, 2018. Hotlined by Senate Foreign Relations Committee on October 2018.
- Ros-Lehtinen-Deutch United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act (H.R. 2646RS). Passed by House of Representatives in voice vote on February 5, 2018. Reported by Senate Foreign Relations Committee on November 29, 2018. Hotlined by Senate Foreign Relations Committee on December 2018.
- Engel-Royce Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2018 (H.R. 1677RS). Passed by House of Representatives in voice vote on May 17, 2017. Reported by Senate Foreign Relations Committee on October 3, 2018. Hotlined by Senate Foreign Relations Committee on November 2018. Passed by the House of Representatives in January 2019.
- Rubio-Manchin Combating BDS Act of 2018 (S. 170). Hotlined by Senate Banking Committee in November 2018.
- February 5, 2019: Rubio, Risch, Gardner, McConnell Welcome Senate Passage of Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act
- February 5, 2019: Rubio: The Truth About B.D.S and the Lies About My Bill
- January 28, 2019: Senate Moves Forward On Rubio’s Strengthening America’s Security In The Middle East Act
- January 8, 2019: On Senate Floor, Rubio Urges Democratic Colleagues To Support Bill To Strengthen Security In Middle East
- January 3, 2019: Rubio, Risch, Gardner, McConnell Introduce Bill to Strengthen U.S. Security in Middle East, Bolster Israel Alliance & Sanction Syria’s Dictatorship