Congress Introducing Legislation Ahead of AIPAC Week
WASHINGTON – Three days before the AIPAC Policy Conference commences, lawmakers in the Senate and House introduced bipartisan resolutions on Wednesday to strengthen US economic cooperation with Israel. Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Ted Poe (R-TX) are leading the House version with Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Jon Tester (D-MT) behind the Senate bill. The US-Israel “joint research institutions are collaborating on life-changing medical breakthroughs, and our technology sectors are fueling ground-breaking innovation,” Lieu said.
AIPAC, J Street, AJC, the Jewish Federations of North America, and US Chamber of Commerce are all endorsing the bipartisan effort. The resolutions encourage the Trump administration to support new agreements with Israel in the energy, water, neurotechnology and cyber security sectors.
With over 15,000 attendees expected for the AIPAC Policy Conference next week, lawmakers are rushing to introduce bills attractive to the pro-Israel community. After intense deliberations with Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) on a bipartisan Iran sanctions bill, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker (R-TN) told Jewish Insider on Wednesday that “We’re down to just a couple of paragraphs and hopefully we will be able to complete discussions today.” A previous area of contention among some Democrats is whether any new sanctions against Tehran would be interpreted as an attack on the nuclear agreement reached by the Obama Administration. Democratic Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) noted, however, that he would back new sanctions targeting Iran.
The Delaware lawmaker told Jewish Insider, “Iran hasn’t in any way moderated its behavior with regards to terrorism. Iran’s bad behavior with regards to human rights violations and ballistic missile launches has not only not moderated, if anything it’s worsened, since the JCPOA. It’s important that we work to find a path a forward for a strong bipartisan bill that responds to the concerns.”