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House Problem Solvers Caucus announces support for anti-BDS resolution

The bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus put its weight behind a resolution condemning the  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and in support of a two-state solution on Monday.

It is the first public support by a joint and bipartisan group for a resolution, introduced last month by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY), that puts Congress on record as opposing BDS and expressing its harmfulness to achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Problem Solvers Caucus, co-chaired by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Tom Reed (R-NY), agree to vote together when three-quarters of the 48 members agree on a bill. Other caucus members supporting the anti-BDS resolution include Reps. Steve Watkins (R-KS), Elaine Luria (D-VA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Pete Stauber (R-MN), Max Rose (D-NY) and Joe Cunningham (D-SC).

In a conversation with Jewish Insider on Monday, Gottheimer urged the House leadership to bring the bipartisan measure for a vote. “Our leadership has told us that it’s going to come to the floor this summer. I think that it’s essential that we bring this to the floor for a vote. It’s time, and I don’t think we should wait beyond this time.”

The New Jersey representative didn’t say whether he would support the Republican push to force a vote on the BDS measure passed earlier this year by the Senate (S1), known as a discharge petition, if Democrats fail to act. He said, “I’m hoping that that is a good forcing mechanism to get it to the floor for debate and a vote. My leadership has told me that they’re going to bring it to the floor. So I’m hoping that that’s what’s going to happen.”

Gottheimer also added his support to a statement released by four prominent pro-Israel Democrats on Friday, warning the Israeli government against taking unilateral steps to annex the West Bank. “I believe in a two-state solution and I think it’s important that we stress that, and I largely agreed with that statement,” he said.

By Laura Kelly in Washington, D.c. and Jacob Kornbluh in Teaneck, New Jersey. Follow Laura at @HelloLauraKelly and Jacob at @jacobkornbluh

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