Legislative Round-up: November 23, 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 & Letters
  2. Hearings
  3. On the Record

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters

(MORE US-ISRAEL LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING & COOPERATION!) S. 3625: Introduced 11/14 by Hatch (R-UT) and having no cosponsors, the “United States-Israel Cooperation Expansion Act.” The short title of the bill is: “To support security and law enforcement training and cooperation between the United States and Israel.” Referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Press release is here, according to which the American Jewish Committee is backing the bill.

(CHANGING US POLICY ON KSA & YEMEN) S. 3652: Introduced 11/15 by Menendez (D-NJ) and having 5 bipartisan cosponsors, “A bill to support the peaceful resolution of the civil war in Yemen, to address the resulting humanitarian crisis, and to hold the perpetrators responsible for murdering a Saudi dissident,” aka, the “Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2018.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Menendez press release is here. Collins (R-ME) press release is here.

(NO DOD FUNDS FOR KSA AERIAL RE-FUELING) S. 3623: Introduced 11/14 by Kaine (D-VA) and having no cosponsors, “A bill to prohibit the use of funds appropriated for the Department of Defense for aerial refueling of aircraft of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

(DISAPPROVING OF DEFENSE SALES TO BAHRAIN) S. J. Res. 65: Introduced 10/10 by Paul (R-KY) and having no cosponsors, “A joint resolution relating to the disapproval of the proposed export to the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain of certain defense articles and services.” On Motion to discharge Senate Committee on Foreign Relations tabled by vote of 77-21. Floor debate is here.

(PRESS FREEDOMS, INCLUDING IN KSA) S. Res. 691: Introduced 11/15 by Merkley (D-OR) and having 5 cosponsors (no GOP), “A resolution reaffirming the centrality of press freedom and freedom of expression to democracy in the United States and to international peace and stability.” Includes 4 “whereas” clauses focused on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, including concluding the section noting that “the public statements of President Trump have led many people to conclude that President Trump does not intend to hold senior Saudi Arabian officials accountable or to demand an independent and impartial investigation into the brutal death of Jamal Khashoggi.”  Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

(COUNTERING TERROR THREATS IN NORTH & WEST AFRICA) HR 6018: Introduced 6/6 by McCaul (R-TX) and having 18 bipartisan cosponsors, “To establish an interagency program to assist countries in North and West Africa to improve immediate and long-term capabilities to counter terrorist threats, and for other purposes.” Passed by the House 11/13 by Voice Vote under suspension of the rules, and referred to the Senate.


(DEMANDING DETERMINATION ON SAUDI CROWN PRINCE ROLE IN MURDER OF JAMAL KHASHOGGI) Menendez-Corker letter to POTUS: On 11/20 Sens. Menendez (D-NJ) and Corker (R-TN), sent a letter to President Trump demanding that the administration make a determination specifically addressing whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, by triggering a second Global Magnitsky investigation. Press release is here.

(SEEKING ANSWERS FROM MAJOR CONSULTING FIRMS ABOUT SERVICES FOR KSA) Warren letter: On 11/14, Sen. Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to Booz Allen Hamilton (Booz Allen), Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Deloitte requesting information on the scope of the services provided by the three consulting firms to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or any Saudi government-affiliated entity.  The senator's letter asks the firms about their relationship with the Saudi government and questions their business with the Kingdom in the wake of its apparently premeditated assassination of journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi. Press release is here.

(SUSPEND DISCUSSIONS ON NUCLEAR COOPERATION WITH KSA) Rubio et al letter to POTUS: On 10/31, Rubio (R-FL) and 4 GOP colleagues sent a letter to President Trump urging him to suspend negotiations regarding a U.S.-Saudi civil nuclear agreement. Press release is here.

(SUSPEND DISCUSSIONS ON NUCLEAR COOPERATION WITH KSA) Markey letter to POTUS: On 10/31, Sen. Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to President Trump requesting him to direct his administration to suspend any civil nuclear cooperation with the government of Saudi Arabia in light of its recent turn toward authoritarianism and aggression and away from behaving as a responsible member of the international community. Press release is here.

(CONCERNS ABOUT DIRECTION OF US-KSA RELATIONS) Speier et al letter to Pompeo: On 10/29, Rep. Speier (D-CA) and 13 Democratic colleagues sent a letter to SecState Pompeo expressing “strong concerns with the direction of the United States-Saudi Arabia relationship embodied by the Trump Administration’s reaction to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. By ignoring or excusing Saudi behavior, and refusing to press for answers, the Administration has made us complicit in the cover up of the execution of an American resident…” Press release is here.

(CONCERNS FOR AMERICANS IMPRISONED IN TURKEY) Engel et al letter: On 10/26, HFAC ranking member Engel (D-NY) led a letter of all Democratic members of the Europe and Eurasia Subcommittee today calling on SecState Pompeo to focus on securing the freedom of other American citizens wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey. Press release is here.


2. Hearings

11/29/18: The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing entitled, U.S. Policy Toward Syria (Part II).” Scheduled witnesses are: James Jeffrey, US Department of State Special Representative for Syria Engagement; and Robert Jenkins, USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance.

11/14/18: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade held a hearing entitled, “U.S. Department of State Counterterrorism Bureau: Ensuring Resources Match Objectives.” The sole witness was Nathan Alexander Sales, U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism, Coordinator for Counterterrorism (statement). Video of the hearing is here.


3. On the Record

Applauding the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran: Kustoff (R-TN), Poe (R-TX), Zeldin (D-NY), Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Hill (R-AR), Corker (R-TN), Cruz (R-TX), Young (R-IN), Ernst (R-IA), Rubio (R-FL), Hoeven (R-ND), Cotton (R-AR),

Criticizing the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran:  Schiff (D-CA), Engel (D-NY), Udall (D-NM),

Ernst (R-IA) 11/21: Statement on U.S. Relations with Saudi Arabia

Wyden (D-OR) 11/20: Wyden Statement In Response to Khashoggi Announcement, Intends to Introduce Legislation to Require Public Assessment Next week

Feinstein (D-CA) 11/20: Feinstein Statement on Khashoggi Killing

Reed (D-RI) 11/20: Shocking for President Trump to Act as Saudi’s Accomplice to a Cover Up

Shaheen (D-NH) 11/20: Shaheen Responds to President’s Statement Defending Saudi Arabia

Warner (D-VA) 11/20: Vice Chairman Warner on the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the President's Response to Saudi Arabia

Rubio (R-FL) 11/20: Statement on New Sanctions Targeting Russia-Iran Oil Network Backing Assad Regime, Hizballah & Hamas

Kaine (D-VA) 11/20: Statement on Trump's Response to Khashoggi Murder

Price (D-NC) 11/20 Statement on Trump Saudi Arabia Defense

Graham (R-SC) 11/20: Statement on Saudi Arabia

Schiff (D-CA) 11/20: Statement on Saudi Arabia and the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Engel (D-NY) 11/17: Engel Statement on Fethullah Gulen

Lee (R-UT) 11/16: Time to Vote on Yemen

Kaine (D-VA) 11/15: Statement On Treasury Sanctioning 17 Saudis For Involvement In Khashoggi Murder

Paul (R-KY) 11/15: Dr. Rand Paul Condemns War in Yemen on Senate Floor

Cardin (D-MD) 11/15: Cardin Calls Magnitsky Sanctions on Saudis Implicated in Khashoggi Murder Important But Short of Full Accountability

Shaheen (D-NH) 11/15: Shaheen Statement on Sanctions Against Saudi Officials for Khashoggi Murder

Corker (R-TN) 11/15: Corker Statement on US Sanctions Against Saudi Arabian Officials for Murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Castro (D-TX) 11/15: Castro Statement on New Sanctions in Response to Murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Rubio (R-FL) 11/15: Rubio Statement on Global Magnitsky Sanctions Against Saudi Individuals For Jamal Khashoggi’s Brutal Murder

Hassan (D-NH) 11/15: Senator Hassan Statement on Sanctions Against Saudi Arabia

Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) 11/15: Floor speech, “The City of David”

Gabbard (D-HI) 11/14: VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls on Congress to End U.S. Military Support of Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen

Paul (R-KY) 11/14: Dr. Rand Paul Secures Senate Vote on Sale of Weapons to Bahrain

Khanna (D-CA), Smith (D-WA), and Pocan (D-WI) 11/13: Statement on Decision to Halt U.S. Refueling to the Saudi-coalition

Lowey (D-NY) 11/13: Lowey Condemns Hamas Rocket Fire on Israel

Gillibrand (D-NY) 11/12: Statement On Rocket Attack Against Israel

Royce (R-CA) 11/10: Statement on Yemen

Merkley (D-OR) 11/10: Merkley Statement on Decision to End American Refueling Assistance for Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen

Sanders (I-VT) 11/9: Statement on Trump Administration Ending Refueling for Saudi Aircraft in Yemen

Young (R-IN) and Shaheen (D-NH) 11/9: Young and Shaheen Call for Immediate Steps in Yemen, Including Ending U.S. Air Refueling of Saudi Coalition Aircraft in Yemen

Murphy (D-CT) 11/9: Ending Refueling Mission In Yemen Is The Right Move, But It's Only One Of Many Steps This Administration Must Take To End American Support For The Saudis' Disastrous, Immoral Bombing Campaign

Abraham (R-LA) 11/8: Abraham offers Louis Farrakhan one-way ticket to Iran

Gohmert (R-TX) 11/1: Rep Louie Gohmert Doubles-Down After Ending Dobbs Segment With ‘It’s Not Anti-Semitic To Criticize [George] Soros’

Wilson (R-SC) 11/2: Congressman Joe Wilson Supports Decision to Reimpose Sanctions on Iran

Khanna (D-CA) and Pocan (D-WI) 11/2: Pocan, Khanna Say Administration’s Comments on Yemen Not Enough, Call for Full End to U.S. Participation in Saudi War

Khanna (D-CA) 10/31: response to Sec. Pompeo’s support for ending the conflict in Yemen

Shaheen (D-NH) 10/31: Shaheen Encouraged by Administration’s Call for Yemen Ceasefire

Leahy (I-VT) 10/31: Vice Chair Patrick Leahy, On Secy. Of State Pompeo’s Call For An End To Fighting In Yemen

Young (R-IN) 10/31: Young Applauds Important and Overdue Diplomatic Surge to End Yemen Civil War and Address Historic Humanitarian Crisis

Price (D-NY) 10/29: Congressman Price Issues Statement on Trump Plans to Merge U.S. Consulate and Embassy in Jerusalem

Isakson (R-GA) 10/28: Statement on the Pittsburgh synagogue attack, “I condemn any such act and stand in solidarity with our ally Israel and all Jewish Americans”

Royce (R-CA) 10/26: Cracking Down on Hezbollah