Finally, the bill would enable state and local governments in the United States to fight the anti-Israel BDS movement. The measure also included aid for Israel and a provision that would let state and local governments refuse to do business with anyone who boycotts Israel.
Hours before Trump's brief meeting with Democrats at the White House, his message to a handful of frustrated Republicans anxious about the blowback from the shutdown was to "hang together" until he can get billions in wall funding.
But Democrats characterized the vote as a signal of whether Republicans actually support protecting pre-existing conditions, as they asserted throughout the 2018 midterm campaign season. "We're (being) taken away from organising and getting down to the substantive business, because we're trying to get government open for the American people", House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer told Reuters. "Senate Republicans should instead bring to the floor the House-passed bills to reopen the government", the aide said.
The Intercept reported that 26 states already have legislation barring state contractors from supporting the BDS movement and 13 other states have similar legislation pending.
As Feinstein noted, she is an Israel supporter and a Jewish-American, which makes her statement all the more important-it implicitly hits at the cheap smear that any criticism of Israel is also anti-Semitic.
Democratic leaders are engrossed in a legislative drive to reopen government agencies that have been closed since Dec 22 over Trump's demand for US$5.7 billion to fund a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.
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In other words, this bill is about defining acceptable limits on economic activity, not prohibiting individual speech or political activity. "We've never had a better ally".
Still, the lead Democrat championing anti-BDS legislation, Sen. He added, "The political stunts are not going to get us anywhere".
These sorts of bills have been declared unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds by two different federal courts, but if a test case is ever appealed up to the Supreme Court, the outcome would be much less certain.
"I've worked closely with you on BDS, @MarcoRubio, and disagree with you here", said Cardin, who in the last Congress authored a bill that would set federal fines for commercial entities that comply with BDS.
Asked about Republicans who've expressed the desire to advance spending bills to reopen government even without funding the wall, Pence said: "When they see the scope of this crisis, when they see the facts presented, they understand why the president is so adamant about doing something meaningful to advance border security".
"There was a very negative reaction by the American public, and the American public today overwhelmingly believes the policy being pursued", Hoyer said. Democrats - who control the House after an election they interpret as a repudiation of Trump's anti-immigrant message - were not showing signs of cracking in their resolve.