Sup­port of Is­rael, re­buke over troop with­drawals.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL - Passed 77-23, a bill (S1) that would re­buke Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump over his planned troop with­drawals from Syria and Afghanistan; au­tho­rize

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)

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