Senate no place for hatred of U.S. ally Israel

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While President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders continue to blame one another for the government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been relatively quiet. National Security Adviser John Bolton is in Turkey and was set to meet with officials Tuesday.

At the moment, the bill has the necessary 60 votes because of the seven Democratic co-sponsors and the support of minority "leader" Chuck Schumer. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin of Maryland, argued over the weekend that senators should vote first on a measure approved by the House last week to reopen the government.

Passage of S. 1 - the first bill entered in this Senate session - would codify a 10-year memorandum of understanding on military assistance with Israel negotiated by the Obama administration; reauthorize defense cooperation with Jordan; reimpose sanctions on entities financing the Syrian government; and authorize state and local governments to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

A pro-Israel advocate says it's unfortunate that a bill aimed at stopping boycotts against Israel is stalled in the Senate.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a $24 billion spending bill that funds the IRS and other agencies affected by the partial government shutdown through September 30, as Democrats look to flex their new majority to put pressure on congressional Republicans amid the ongoing standoff.

CNN's Manu Raju reports Murkowski is calling for the federal agencies affected by the GOP shutdown to be reopened, which would require Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on bills the Senate previously passed, and the president to sign them. "It's unfortunate Leader McConnell and others have chose to use Israel to play politics". The vote Wednesday on the third section, which includes additional justification for why the chamber should intervene and background on the case, offered Democrats another chance to put Republicans on record voting against the popular protections for pre-existing conditions.

The House already passed the same bills in a single appropriations package last week, and they were all passed by the Senate previous year.

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Critics of the bill claim that it is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment. He added, "The political stunts are not going to get us anywhere".

"The administration can not shut the government down and then plead "government shutdown" as a way to avoid doing its legal responsibilities", said Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin.

"I expected these actions to be a big bipartisan vote, not a partisan showdown", he said.

"Currently, almost twice as many liberal Democrats say they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel (35% vs. 19%)".

"When the government is shut down, there are consequences, and people are starting to feel those consequences", Murkowski said she told the president.

Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of IL said the President's speech was "completely inconsistent with reality", arguing it's something he would expect to hear at a rally, not in the Oval Office.

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