APN maintains strong relationships with Members of Congress, congressional staff, and Executive Branch officials. A non-partisan organization . with a non-partisan mission, APN supplies timely information, analysis, expertise and education, providing a pro-Israel, pro-peace, American Jewish perspective on issues and legislation related to Israel and the quest for Middle East peace and, security. APN also engages in advocacy, directly and through its nationwide Action Network, to promote pro-Israel/pro-peace legislation and policy
APN publishes the Legislative Round-Up -- the most comprehensive resource available anywhere on Middle East-related developments on Capitol Hill -- every Friday when Congress is in session. APN also hosts policy briefings on Capitol Hill and brings experts to meet with policy makers to maintain a steady flow of balanced information from the region.
Prospects for the success of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations were downplayed by Prime Minister Netanyahu at his photo-op with President Obama following their meeting today. Here is what Netanyahu had to say about efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians:
- “Twenty years of peace process were marked by many Israeli steps for peace but we got suicide bombers and rockets in return.”
- “It’s about time the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state – we have only been there for 4,000 years.”
- “The people of Israel expect me to stand strong against pressure and for the security of Israel.”
Note: Apologies for the irregular schedule of Round-Ups in recent weeks (due to winter colds,
international visitors, and now an impending snow storm). The Round-Up should return to its regular Friday
schedule starting next week.
APN Legislative Round-Up
Special Recess Edition
The FY14 Omnibus
Jan. 24, 2014
Last week the House and Senate passed HR 3547, the FY 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act. On 1/17/14 the President signed it into law. Division K of HR 3547 is the “Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014,” which includes all foreign affairs appropriations (other than that which is appropriated under the Department of Defense), as well as a great deal of authorizing language (this has long been the pattern, given the inability of Congress to usually pass a Foreign Relations Authorization bill).
Below are details of the Middle East-related elements in the final bill, as well as relevant details from the accompanying report (known in this context as a Joint Explanatory Statement - JES). For details of the Middle East elements in the House version of this bill, HR 2855, and its accompanying report, see the 7/19/13 Round-Up. For details of the Middle East elements in the Senate version of this bill, S.1372, and its accompanying report, see the 7/26-8/2 Round-Up (Part 2).
It should be noted that the JES states explicitly that: “In implementing this agreement, Federal departments, agencies, and other entities shall comply with the directives, reporting requirements, and allocations contained in H. Rept. 113-185 (House report) accompanying H.R. 2855 (House bill) and S. Rept. 113-81 (Senate report) accompanying S. 1372 (Senate bill) as though stated in this explanatory statement unless specifically directed to the contrary. This explanatory statement, while repeating some House and Senate report language for emphasis or clarification, does not negate such language unless expressly provided herein.” Thus, to gain a full picture of Congressional intent and directives, the analysis below must be combined with the analysis of the House and Senate reports, linked in the preceding paragraph and examined in the relevant Round-Ups.
We knew the fight to keep Iran-focused diplomacy alive wasn't over - and we were right. Just before the Senate went home for the holidays, Senators Menendez (D-NJ), Kirk (R-IL) and a group of 25 colleagues introduced a new and highly problematic Iran sanctions bill in the Senate - S. 1881, ironically named the "Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013." Over the holiday break, this bill was the focal point of a major lobbying effort, with AIPAC and other groups working intensively to get Senators to cosponsor the measure -- and this effort will pick up additional steam in the coming days.