U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Wednesday that legislation to allow state and local governments the right to punish state or local contractors from boycotting Israel will go forwards “in the relatively near future.”
“The [House Foreign Affairs Committee] is considering this, and I expect to be moving something out of the committee in the relatively near future,” he said during a press briefing in the Capitol.
In February, Hoyer told JNS something similar: “[House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman] Eliot Engel and I are talking about it, and hopefully, we’ll move something soon.”
Hoyer’s remarks on Wednesday came as House Republicans launched a discharge petition by collecting signatures from House members to force a vote on the anti-BDS legislation. At least 218 signatures from House members is required to enable such a vote. With 197 Republicans currently in the chamber, 21 Democrats are needed for the petition to succeed.
Rep. Liz Cheney, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said on Wednesday that Democratic leaders “have said repeatedly that they stand with Israel, in spite of these anti-Semitic comments.”
“Well, if they truly stand with Israel, then they ought to put this bill on the floor, and they ought to come down and sign the bill,” she said.
“At the end of the day, I think it’s incumbent on Americans to stand by its friend and ally,” Rep. Van Taylor (R-Texas) told JNS on Thursday. “It is disturbing to watch people who don’t want to support Israel, and I don’t fully understand why you wouldn’t want to support your friend certainly when they are fighting your enemies. And that’s what they’re doing today.”
Taylor is expected to sign the petition by the end of business on Thursday, his spokesperson, Anna Vetter, told JNS.