Legislative Round-Up - January 8, 2021

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2. Hearings & Markups
3. On the Record

Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

Shameless plug:

FMEP webinar Jan 11, 2021: “Raided and Razed”: West Bank Education under Attack, ft Netta Amar-Shiff (human rights attorney), Khaled Elgindy (Middle East Institute), Priscilla Wathington (NRC), with Sarah Anne Minkin (FMEP). More info/register here.

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters



(RETURN TO THE JCPOA) House Dems letter to POTUS-elect Biden: On 12/23/20, Reps.  Price (D-NC), Lee (D-CA), Schakowsky (D-IL), Meeks (D-NY), Castro (D-TX), Spanberger (D-VA), and Sherman (D-CA) sent a letter to President-elect Joseph R. Biden, with a total of 150 House co-signers, stating (among other things): “With respect to Iran, we agree that diplomacy is the best path to halt and reverse Iran’s nuclear program, decrease tensions in the region, and facilitate our nation’s reincorporation into the international community. We are united in our support for swiftly taking the necessary diplomatic steps to restore constraints on Iran’s nuclear program and return both Iran and the United States to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a starting point for further negotiations.” Joint press release is here.


2. Hearings & Markups



3. On the Record

Members On The Record…

Miller (R-IL) 1/8/21: Tweet – “Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL) issues a statement on her remarks at the recent Moms for America event in Washington, D.C.”
[clarifying her praise of Hitler. Notably, in her clarification she notes “I’m passionately pro-Israel” before saying anything about the US Jewish community.]

Cammack (R-FL) 1/6/21: Tweet – “Rep. Tlaib, who has an office right next to mine in DC, has some strong opinions about Israel that I 100% disagree with, so I’ve made a pledge to plant Israel’s flag outside my door right next to the American flag. I think it’ll be very helpful as she walks past both every day” [Matt Duss of Sen. Sanders’ (I-VT) wins the prize for the best response with his tweet: “Will you put up a checkpoint too?

Scott (R-FL) 1/5/21: Tweet – “I applaud the Administration’s continued efforts to stop the flow of revenue to #Iran and other nations like #China that support terrorist groups and oppressive regimes across the globe. We must stand against those who wish to disrupt freedom and democracy.” [linked to Reuters Tweet – “U.S. hits Iran with fresh sanctions in final weeks of Trump presidency -Treasury website

Shaheen (D-NH) 1/5: Tweet – “Lebanon is still recovering from the devastating explosions in August. In the absence of a transparent & accountable gov’t we must help them recover. Pleased the gov’t funding bill includes my effort to cont. humanitarian assistance to Lebanon through NGOs w/projects like these” [linked to USAID/Middle East Tweet – “In Lebanon, Community Health Workers with @USAID partner @ReliefIntl are making home visits to people who are isolating to protect themselves or others from #COVID19 to provide medical check-ups and educate communities about how to limit the spread of the virus.”]

Steube (R-FL) 1/4: Tweet – “Exactly. Biden IS weak on Iran. Under Obama/Biden, the US sent Iran pallets of cash and signed a nuclear deal. Under @realDonaldTrump, Iran’s economy has crashed, their military capabilities have been depleted and their terrorists have been taken out. That’s the difference.” [linked to Dan Boningo Tweet/post- “Iran is showing that they think Biden is weak.”]

Buck (R-CO) 1/3: Tweet – “I’m proud that President Trump stood up to Iran and took down terrorists like Soleimani. We need the Biden Administration to do the same.” [linked to Javad Zarif Tweet, “A year ago today, ????? #1 of extremist terrorists was cowardly assassinated by the terrorist-in-chief. As our region solemnly commemorates his one year passing, a reminder that the only beneficiary of his murder is Daesh (ISIS), which has only increased its activity since.

Khanna (D-CA) 1/2: Tweet – “On Day 1, President Biden should cut off all funding and logistical support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.  RT if you agree.”

Heinrich (D-MN) 1/2: Tweet – “We can all thank the soon-to-be ex-POTUS for leaving our kids with a dramatically more dangerous Iran. January 20 can’t come soon enough, but damage like this can’t be easily undone.” [linked to article – Iran plans 20% uranium enrichment ‘as soon as possible’]

Babin (R-TX) 1/2: Tweet – “We must continue to keep Iran on a short leash. The only thing we can trust from this regime is that they are committed to breaking their word and they intend to cause the world harm. They can never be allowed to posses [sic] nuclear capabilities.” [linked to article – Iran plans 20% uranium enrichment ‘as soon as possible’]

Gillibrand (D-NY) 12/31: Tweet – “Loujain al-Hathloul is the definition of brave, fearlessly setting a new course for women in Saudi Arabia and across the globe. Her sentence is extremely troubling and proof that our battle for women’s rights is far from over.” [linked to article – Saudi women’s rights activist sentenced to nearly 6 years]

Coons (D-DE) 12/29: Tweet – “@LoujainHathloul to nearly six years in prison. Loujain is a fearless advocate for women’s rights, and she should be applauded, not imprisoned, for her activism. #freeloujain”

Khanna (D-CA) 12/28: Tweet – “As I told Amy Goldman on Democracy Now, I am confident that @ABlinken and @jakejsullivan understand the depth of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and will work with Martin Griffiths & Congress to bring the war to an end.” [includes video clip]

Schakowsky (D-IL) 12/28: Tweet – “Today, Saudi Arabia sentenced brave women’s rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul to nearly 6 years in prison. This is an injustice. I call for Loujain, and all her fellow activists, to be released immediately and unconditionally. #FreeLoujain”

Trone (D-MD) 12/28: Tweet – “Today Saudi women’s rights advocate #LoujainAlHathloul was unjustly sentenced to 5 years 8 months in prison on trumped up terrorism charges. Loujain is a role model who campaigned for women’s right to drive. Saudi Arabia must immediately #FreeLoujain” [linked to article – Saudi activist who campaigned for women’s right to drive is sentenced to nearly six years]

Articles and Reports Related to the Hill

News – General

Israel Hayom 1/8/21: Hitler gaffe lands Illinois congresswoman in hot water

YNet 1/7/21: New Illinois congresswoman: ‘Hitler was right on one thing’

Middle East Eye 1/6/21: US Congresswoman slams Israel’s Covid-19 vaccination drive which excludes Palestinians

Jewish News Syndicate 1/6/21: GOP congresswoman says at pro-Trump rally, ‘Hitler was right on one thing’

Middle East Eye 1/6/21: New US foreign affairs chair backs resuming aid to Palestinians

Times of Israel 1/6/21: New House foreign affairs head looks to resume US aid to Palestinians [kinda, sorta, or actually just do the same as before but that isn’t a great headline]

Gatestone Institute 1/5/21: Congressmen Beating the Drum for Iran’s Mullahs

Jewish News Syndicate 1/5/21: Alabama’s Barry Moore: Rise in anti-Semitism reflects ‘moral decline in our country’ [“Q: What’s your stance on the BDS movement? A: That’s just part of an anti-Semitic movement. It’s a way to try to get people to divest and to punish Israel, and to boycott and to use it as leverage. It’s one of those things I’m totally against. We need to stand against that sort of thing.”]

JTA 1/4/21: Kathy Manning brought Jews together. Can she do the same for Congress?

Haaretz 1/3/21: With New Congress, Israel Loses Two of Its Best Friends in Washington

New House Member Uses Israel Flag as Grandstanding Prop

Haaretz 1/8/21: Rashida Tlaib Dismisses Republican Colleague’s Israeli Flag ‘Publicity Stunt’

Times of Israel 1/7/21: Republican vows to fly Israel flag outside Congress office next to Rashida Tlaib

Arutz Sheva 1/7/21: Florida Republican to put Israeli flag next to Tlaib’s office

Free Beacon 1/6/21: Rashida Tlaib’s New Office Neighbor to Fly Israeli Flag

WCJP 1/5/21: Rep. Kat Cammack to put Israeli flag outside office, next door to Rep. Tlaib


JTA 1/6/21: Jon Ossoff: Everything you need to know about the newest Jewish Democratic senator [“He supports Israel and opposes BDS. In a position paper from July, Ossoff wrote that he is ‘committed to Israel’s security as a homeland for the Jewish people.’ (He personally has family there, he told the Atlanta Jewish Times.) To that end, he ‘vigorously’ opposes the boycott Israel movement, supports continuing the robust American military aid to Israel and wants to see a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He also supports diplomacy with Iran, through a nuclear deal and otherwise, to curb its nuclear arsenal.”]

Times of Israel 1/5/21: Georgia’s Senate runoffs: All the Jewish drama from a charged campaign

Jerusalem Post 1/5/21: Settler leader urges Georgian Christians vote Republican in Senate race

Arutz Sheva 1/5/21: Senior Republicans recruit Yossi Dagan to drum up support in Georgia special elections

Haaretz 1/5/21: How Israel and Antisemitism Helped Shape Georgia’s High-stake Senate Race

Times of Israel 1/5/21: Georgia’s Senate runoffs: All the Jewish drama from a charged campaign

The MediaLine 1/3/21: Georgia’s Jewish Vote Could Decide Control of the US Senate

The Intercept 1/1/21: How Israel Attacks Drove Warnock Into the Arms of a Centrist Pro-Israel Group