Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) slammed an anti-BDS bill introduced last week by Republicans as “absurd.”
“It’s absurd that the first bill during the shutdown is legislation which punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity,” he tweeted. “Democrats must block consideration of any bills that don’t reopen the government. Let’s get our priorities right.”
President Donald Trump has refused to sign over the past few weeks any legislation funding the remaining six government agencies, including the State Department and Homeland Security, that were not funded last summer, as long as $5 billion is not allocated to build a border wall with Mexico.
The proposed anti-BDS legislation is one of four bills combined into one—the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act—introduced on Thursday by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“I am proud to sponsor this legislation, which enhances our alliances in the Middle East, condemns the heinous human-rights abuses of the [Bashar] Assad regime, and takes a strong stance against the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic BDS movement,” said Gardner. “This bill greatly enhances our national security, and I urge its quick and bipartisan passage into law.”