Support of Israel, rebuke over troop withdrawals.
Passed 77-23, a bill (S1) that would rebuke President Donald Trump over his planned troop withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan; authorize $3.3 billion annually in U.S. military aid to Israel over 10 years; expand economic sanctions on the [Bashar] Assad regime in Syria; require a probe of money laundering by the Syrian central bank; authorize military and humanitarian aid to Jordan; and support Jordan’s efforts to secure its borders and care for hundreds of thousands of refugees. In addition, the bill would give a federal stamp of approval to so-called anti-BDS laws enacted by state and local governments. Those laws deny contracts and other benefits to companies or individuals that support boycott, divestiture or sanctions against Israel in response to its treatment of Palestinians.
Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the bill “doesn’t in any way prevent anyone from participating in boycotting or divesting from Israel. All it says is that if you do, your clients, in the form of state or local governments, can boycott or divest from you in return. Free speech is a two-way street.”
Rand Paul, R-Ky., said “the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom to protest and the freedom to boycott are fundamentally American. How can we give that up so easily? … Our Founding Fathers would roll over in their graves if they knew what we were doing today.”
A yes vote was to send the bill to the House.
☑ John Boozman (R)
☑ Tom Cotton (R)