ON THE HILL — The Senate voted 72-24 to end debate on Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019, known as S.1, clearing the way for its final passage later this week. The Senate also approved Mitch McConnell’s amendment to oppose the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), flanked by Jewish advocacy groups and several Holocaust survivors, announced the reintroduction of her Never Again Education Act at the Center for Jewish History in New York City on Monday. The bipartisan legislation will create a new grant program at the U.S. Department of Education to give teachers across the United States the resources and training necessary to teach children the lessons of the Holocaust and the consequences of hate and intolerance. Maloney was joined by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Israeli Consul General in New York Dani Dayan. [Pic; Pic]
Maloney discussed Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib’s recent comments on Israel in an interview with Jewish Insider‘s Jacob Kornbluh after the event: “Support for Israel is very strong in the Democratic Party. The Democrats have led most of the initiatives, historically, in support of Israel. I am not concerned about my colleagues. I feel that they will be supportive of a democracy and an ally, a country that has been so supportive of the same values and goals of America. I am concerned about the rising amount of anti-Semitism from the American public.”
Maloney added that she will “have a conversation” with Omar and Tlaib about this issue, “but, I think, that overall they are going to be supportive as strong members of the Democratic caucus. They have been very enthusiastic and supporting many of the initiatives we are putting forward. Some have used language that I have never used, but I believe in freedom of speech. I always give people the benefit of the doubt. I always believe in people.”
ON THE GOLAN — There’s growing congressional support for U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights as top Democrats, Reps. Nadler and Maloney, signalled their support. “The only thing the Golan has ever been used for by the Syrians is to bombard Israel,” Nadler told JI following the press conference in New York City. “They can’t have that again. It’s unsafe,” added the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Rep. Maloney told JI that she too supports recognition “if our leadership supports it.” Adding, “I will be supporting it, but only if it goes through the [House Foreign Affairs Committee] and is supported by the committee.” [JewishInsider]
Israel is becoming a wedge issue for Democrats — by Mairav Zonszein and Alex Kane: “The right-wing, extremist government of Benjamin Netanyahu and its apartheid-like policies are at the core of what is alienating Democrats and a growing number of Americans,” said Congresswoman Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota who authored a bill during the last session of Congress to prevent U.S. military aid to Israel from subsidizing the abuse of Palestinian children. “What has changed is that there are now members of Congress who are not willing to ignore the Israeli government’s destructive actions because they are afraid of losing an election.” [Vice]
Dems hope to draw blood from potential Trump SCOTUS pick — Andrew Restuccia, Gabby Orr and Anita Kumar: “Growing buzz on the right about Neomi Rao, a legal scholar and Trump administration regulatory official, has raised the stakes of her Tuesday confirmation hearing to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Republicans expect Democrats to contest Rao’s nomination with particular energy given what White House allies call the prospect that the 45-year-old former law professor could be on deck for a Supreme Court seat… White House aides and outside conservatives close to the president have been quietly helping Rao prepare for her confirmation hearing for weeks.” [Politico]