House Democrats including Pappas and Kuster on Wednesday blocked the consideration of HB 5594. The bill prohibits domestic support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The bill itself says it is to impose additional prohibitions relating to foreign boycotts.
It does so under the Export Control Reform Act of 2018.
Rep. Lee Zeldin with 62 co-sponsors brought forward this bill. It would modify existing law to take aim at the anti-Israel BDS movement. It would do so by forbidding domestic support for foreign boycotts from organizations. Such organizations would include the United Nations Human Rights Council and the European Union.
FLOOR ALERT: @HouseDemocrats just blocked @RepDLesko & @RepLeeZeldin's request for the House to stand with Israel & combat the hate-fueled BDS movement. We cannot stay quiet when it comes to one of our strongest allies. pic.twitter.com/5ZDeUqNSNH
— House Rules Republicans (@RulesReps) March 4, 2020
Lawmakers voted along party lines to defeat the consideration of the bill by a margin of 219 to 194. Rep. Debbie Lesko said on the House floor, “We cannot be quiet when it comes to combating anti-Semitism… [and] anti-Israel mentalities… We need to work together in Congress… [and] pass common-sense legislation on this issue. H.R. 5595 does just that.”
How is your vote in New Hampshire’s best interest?
Zeldin added that the bill established Congress’s opposition to the BDS movement. It condemns the United Nations “blacklist” of companies that do business in the West Bank. He called on Congress to also condemn the United Nations’ actions against Israel.
Representatives Pappas and Kuster how do you explain your bigoted vote?
- Why do you embrace hate?
- Why is your vote for anti-Semitism a good thing?
- Please respond in defense of your vote.
- New Hampshire does not support BDS.
- Have you sold out to a lobby with deep pockets?
- Please tell us how you are representing New Hampshire’s best interest with this vote.
Zeldin said BDS tries to delegitimize Israel. It attempts to do so by turning it into a pariah state. It seeks to cut it off from all trade, tourism, military, diplomatic, and cultural ties with the rest of the world.
The bill also includes a section addressing First Amendment concerns. The section states that the bill’s text does not apply to “a person’s non-commercial speech. It also does not apply to other noncommercial expressive activity.
So, why do Representatives Kuster and Pappas oppose this legislation?