Senate Democrats to Discuss Blocking All Legislation That Doesn’t Reopen the Government

Specifically, Tlaib is referring to legislation that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he intends to prioritize in the new congressional session.

The measure, S.1 would direct the Trump administration to impose sanctions on entities doing business with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, such as selling petroleum products or aircraft parts.

While GOP leaders expect defections, they want to keep that number under 55: if that many Republicans join with all the House Democrats, they will create a veto-proof majority. The portion of the bill dealing with the Israel boycott-the Combating BDS Act of 2019, which encourages states to prohibit the hiring of contractors that support the "boycott, divestment, or sanctions" of companies or individuals that do business in Israel or Israeli-controlled territories-has come under fire.

"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", Sanders tweeted.

Rubio called it a "typical anti-Semitic line" and argued, "if boycotting #Israel is constitutionally protected, then boycotting companies that boycott #Israel is also constitutionally protected". Democrats in turn accused Republicans of trying to use the BDS measure to divide moderate and liberal Democrats.

After White House national security adviser John Bolton said January 6 the U.S.is not going to withdraw its troops until Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promises to protect the Kurds and the Islamic State group is defeated, Smith ripped Trump for insulting America's valuable allies and sewing confusion. The bill comes amid the partial government shutdown, and Democrats say they will block it until government is reopened.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who officially became the first Palestinian-American congresswoman last week, was accused Monday of perpetuating historically anti-Semitic sentiments.

'This is the USA where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. "Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away", she added.

But Rubio's office says the bill allows the governments "to counter economic warfare against Israel".

The senator also called out Democrats for misrepresenting their opposition to his bill, suggesting that the government shutdown is an excuse to cover for the Democratic Party's anti-Israel positions and support for BDS. "A significant [number] of Senate Democrats now support [BDS] & Dem leaders want to avoid a floor vote that reveals that", Rubio claimed, even though Cardin, Schumer, and other Democrats have backed these types of bills in the past.

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

The American Jewish Committee tweeted a picture of her embracing someone while wrapped in a Palestinian flag.

The ACLU disagreed, calling on Rubio to "reconsider" the bill, which it said "makes a mockery of the First Amendment". "It protects the right of local & state govts that decide to no longer do business with those who boycott #Israel", Rubio tweeted in response to Sanders.

The Democratic senators representing Maryland and Virginia organized the effort, which led to a 56-44 vote against limiting debate on a motion to proceed to the legislation, which needed 60 votes for adoption.

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