Senate Bill to Protect States Countering BDS
WASHINGTON – Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) will introduce a bill today to combat the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement by strengthening protection for state and local governments who divest from companies participating in investment-related BDS actions against Israel.
“This legislation supports efforts by state governments and local communities to use the power of the purse to counter the BDS movement’s economic warfare targeting Israel,” Rubio said in a press statement.
The Combatting BDS Act, Sen. Resolution 170, is a bi-partisan effort that updates a similar bill introduced in the previous Congressional session by former Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Manchin, but failed to pass. The original measure was co-sponsored by 19 lawmakers including Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Tom Cotton (R-AK).
“This legislation is an important step forward in reassuring Israel that we are protecting our shared national security interests, while also protecting our joint economic interests,” Manchin explained.
The bill clarifies that local and state governments have the legal right to prohibit investment with companies engaging in BDS activity based on “credible information available to the public” and provides offensive measures against commercial organizations aiming to financially attack Israel.