Legislative Roundup - August 2, 2019

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


Shameless plugs (from Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace):

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters

(MORE US-ISRAEL COOPERATION: CYBERSECURITY!) S 2309: Introduced 7/29 by Rosen (D-NV) and Rounds (R-SD), “A bill to require the Secretary of State to submit a report on potential benefits and impact to the United States of establishing a joint United States-Israel cybersecurity center of excellence.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Rosen press release is here. NOTE: This is the Senate version of HR 2488 (introduced 5/2 by Cicilline, D-RI). It is also similar to language that was actually passed by the House 7/23 as part of HR 1837, the US-Israel “Security Enhancement Act” (discussed in detail in the 7/29 edition of the Round-Up).

(NO EX-IM FINANCING FOR KSA NUKE PROGRAM) S. 2338: Introduced 7/30 by Van Hollen (D-MD), Graham (R-SC), Moran (R-KS) and Merkley (D-OR), “A bill to prohibit the Export-Import Bank of the United States from financing the export of nuclear technology, equipment, fuel, materials, or other goods or services to Saudi Arabia, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Van Hollen press release is here.

(KSA ACCOUNTABILITY FOR KHASHOGGI MURDER) S. 2351: Introduced 7/31 by Coons (D-DE) and Graham (R-SC), “A bill to promote human rights and accountability in Saudi Arabia, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Press release is here. NOTE: This bill is a standalone version of an amendment to the Senate NDAA offered by Malinowski (D-NJ) and adopted by the full sent (details in the 7/12 edition of the Round-Up) — reportedly introduced again in this form to increase the chances of the text staying in the final bill.


(GERMANY: DESIGNATE HEZBOLLAH A TERROR ORG) Budd letter to German FM: On 7/29, Budd (R-NC) and 11 GOP colleagues sent a letter to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressing disappointment that the German parliament failed to pass a law outlawing Hezbollah in Germany. The letter urges Germany to “eliminate the artificial distinction between Hezbollah’s military and political branches” and to designate Hezbollah (all of it) as a terrorist organization. Budd press release is here.

2. Hearings & Markups


3. On the Record

Rose (D-NY) 8/2: Rose to Travel to Israel to Meet with Top Israeli, Palestinian Officials

Hurd (R-TX) 8/1: It’s time to serve my country in a different way [means the new Bipartisan Black-Jewish caucus will not have any Black GOP members]

Pingree (D-ME) 7/31: Tablet publishes hit piece on Pingree (D-ME) declaring her a “threat to Israel,” including a list of offenses [1 -voting against H. Res. 246; 2- In 2015, joining other Dems in not attending joint session of Congress convened by GOP for purpose of allowing Israeli PM to grandstand at the expense of the US president & his Iran policy; 3- in 2015, signing onto a letter expressing concern about Israel’s treatment of Palestinian minors living under occupation; 4- In 2017, refraining from joining the pile-on against Obama for failing to veto a UNSCR that was consistent with longstanding US policy & previous UNSCRs that the US had not vetoed; 5- Meeting with a representative of Btselem, Israel’s premier human rights org; 6- in 2019, signing on to HR 2407, “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act”]. Twitter thread on the article is here.

Cruz (R-TX) 7/31: Sen. Cruz Issues Statement in Response to Reports of Administration Extending Iran Nuclear Waivers

Rubio (R-FL) 7/31: Rubio Praises New Sanctions Against Iran’s Foreign Minister, Urges End to Iran Civil Nuclear Waivers

Feinstein (D-CA) 7/31: Feinstein Statement on Zarif Sanctions

Buchanan (R-FL) 7/30: Buchanan Applauds Action to Support Israel (HR 1837, H. Res. 246 & HR 1850) [excerpt: “Fifteen members of Congress have co-sponsored a resolution supporting the BDS movement, comparing their crusade to delegitimize Israel with the boycotts of Nazi Germany before the Holocaust.” – This is a reference to H. Res. 496, which does not mention Israel even once]

Graham (R-SC) 7/30: Graham was a featured discussant at the launch of a new JINSA paper, “For a Narrow U.S.-Israel Defense Pact – Paper and Draft Treaty

Lankford (R-OK) 7/30: Lankford “…told Jewish Insider on Tuesday that he is concerned a House bill meant to strengthen avenues to justice for American victims of Palestinian terrorism won’t work as intended.” [This is the ATCA “fix” included in HR 1837, discussed in detail in the 7/29 edition of the Round-Up; Twitter thread laying the details of Lankford’s preferred ATCA “fix” is here.]

Watson Coleman (D-NJ) 7/30: Mayor Cohen [Mayor of East Brunswick] Accuses Watson Coleman of “Institutional Anti-Semitism” [over “no” vote on H. Res. 246]

Murkowski (R-AK) 7/30: Murkowski Commends Successful Arrow-3 Missile Test Launch

Sullivan (R-AK) 7/29: Sullivan Lauds Successful U.S.-Israeli Missile Test at Kodiak Launch Complex

Menendez (D-NJ) 7/29: Menendez on Vote to Override Pres. Trump’s Veto to Stop Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE

Massie (R-KY) 7/29: JNS article, “Rep. Thomas Massie explains sole Republican vote against House anti-BDS resolution” [reasons: 1 – he opposes the resolutions support for United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, which he was the sole vote against; 2 – he disagrees with resolution’s embrace of two-state solution; and 3 – he rejects Congress condemning boycotts].

Duckworth (D-IL) 7/26: Duckworth: Trump Must Bring Military Action Before Congress