Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Manchin hits back at Tlaib over Israel bill criticism, alleged slur

Manchin hits back at Tlaib over Israel bill criticism, alleged slur

That first real Senate vote of the Congress, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, is on a motion by McConnell to short-circuit any potential filibusters on the motion to proceed to a bundle of foreign policy bills held over from 2018 that have had bipartisan support ...

The bill also includes military aid to Jordan and Israel, and supports additional sanctions against the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Four Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the bill: Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

In mind, specifically, are those entities that support the BDS movement - short for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions - a movement that advocates an global boycott of Israel until the sovereign nation acquiesces to pro-Palestine, anti-Israel policies.

Sanders on January 6 blasted McConnell and Senate Republicans about S.1, tweeting that "it's absurd that the first bill during the shutdown is legislation which punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity".

A senior Senate Democratic aide said Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer would be joining in the opposition to taking up the Middle East policy package before votes on the House-passed spending bills.

Opponents say Rubio's measure infringes on free speech. Sen.

In support of Israel, Rubio's bills would affirm the legal authority of state and local governments to restrict contracts and take other actions against those "engaged in BDS conduct". But Trump has said he will not sign the measure, and McConnell has repeatedly said the Senate won't advance legislation the president won't support.

"They forgot what country they represent", Tlaib, a Palestinian-American who made history last week by becoming one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, tweeted of the bill's supporters.

Sanders, an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, said the bill's introduction in the midst of a government shutdown now entering its third week was "absurd". "Let's not get off on the wrong foot, with House Democrats using their new platform to produce political statements rather than serious solutions".

'This is the United States where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality.

The House, led by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, closed out its first day of the 116th Congress by passing six spending bills to reopen most of the federal agencies that have been closed since the partial shutdown began December 22. The Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 combines several Middle East-related items into a single bill, including Syria withdrawal and financial aid to Israel.

Both sides are squaring off ahead of Tuesday's votes.

Also weighing in on Tlaib's tweet was the American Jewish Committee.

The ACLU disagreed, calling on Rubio to "reconsider" the bill, which it said "makes a mockery of the First Amendment".

"And if boycotting #Israel is constitutionally protected, then boycotting companies that boycott #Israel is also constitutionally protected", Rubio tweeted.

A growing coalition of Senate Democrats - hailing primarily from states that have a large population of federal workers, as well as the contingent of senators eyeing presidential bids in 2020 - say the chamber should not vote on anything else until the shutdown ends.

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