Legislative Round-Up - February 9, 2018

Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived

  1. Bills & Resolutions
  2. Hearings
  3.  On the Record

1. Bills & Resolutions

(BAD UN – STOP BEING MEAN TO ISRAEL!) H. Res. 728: Introduced 2/7 by Wilson (R-SC) and no cosponsors, “Reaffirming United States support for Israel and condemning the United Nations Human Rights Council for certain wasteful and abusive actions.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Financial Services. Among other things, the resolution, “(3) urges Congress to support S. 720 and HR 1697 that expands anti-boycott laws to extend to international organizations such as the United Nations and European Union.”  Wilson press release is here.

(JORDAN-US DEFENSE COOPERATION) HR 2646: Introduced 5/24/17 by Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and having 12 cosponsors, the “United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act.” Passed by the House 2/5/18 by Voice Vote. Floor consideration is here.

(RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS IN TURKEY) H. Res. 732: Introduced 2/7 by Maloney (D-NY) and Bilirakis (R-FL), “Urging Turkey to respect the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Press release is here.


(DON’T CUT $$ TO PALESTINIANS) Welch et al letter to Trump: On 2/8, Reps. Welch (D-VT) and Price (D-NC) led a letter, co-signed by 100 House colleagues, to President Trump, urging Trump “to continue vital US contributions to the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) and bilateral assistance to the Palestinians.” Welch press release is here.

(NEW IRAN SANCTIONS NOW!) Young-Rubio et al letter to Trump: On 2/6, Sens. Young (R-IN) and Rubio (R-FL) led a letter, signed by 14 Senate GOP colleagues, to President Trump expressing eagerness to work with Trump to impose new sanctions on Iran tied to its ballistic missile program. The letter notes: “We applaud your administration’s recent actions with respect to Iran’s ballistic missile program.  We are eager to work with the administration to take additional steps to better protect the United States and our allies against this threat.” Young press release is here.


2. Hearings

February 14, 2018: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa will hold a hearing entitled, “Israel, the Palestinians, & the Administration’s Peace Plan.” Scheduled witnesses, covering a typically wide, wide range of views on the issue, are: Clifford May, Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Ghaith al-Omari, Washington Institute for Near East Policy; and Daniel Shapiro, Institute for National Security Studies (Israel) and Former United States Ambassador to Israel. AND…congrats HFAC, on convening yet another all-white, all-male panel!

February 6, 2018: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa held a hearing entitled, “Syria: Which Way Forward?” Witnesses were: Former US Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, Middle East Institute (statement); Faysal Itani, Atlantic Council (statement); Charles Lister, Middle East Institute (statement); and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development Mara Karlin, SAIS (statement). Video of the hearing is here.


3. On the Record

Kaine (D-VA) 2/8: Statement On U.S. Airstrikes Against Pro-Assad Forces In Syria

McCaul (R-TX) 2/5: Speech before GWU students, “State of National Security Address” [with section slamming Iran & JCPOA, and notably describing Hamas as an Iranian proxy “in Palestine.”]

Cardin (D-MD) & Portman (R-OH) 2/2: Statement on UN Human Rights Council Report Compiling Anti-Israel Blacklist [& pushing S. 720/HR 1697]

Roskam (R-IL) 2/2: Statement on UN Human] Rights Council report compiling Anti-Israel Blacklist [pitching for passage of HR 1697].

Schakowsky (D-IL) 2/2: Schakowsky statement on demolitions in Susya