Will Democrats Start Voting For Bills They Support Now?

It’s Time For Democrats To Resume Their Support For The Package Of Bipartisan Bills That Strengthens America’s Allies In The Middle East


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “For weeks, now, Senate Democrats have effectively filibustered this legislation and blocked it from moving forward.  At first, my colleague the Democratic Leader said his party was simply opposed to considering any other business during the partial government shutdown. But then, just a few days later, he actually sought to move ahead with a foreign policy vote of his own. In other words, though Senate Democrats were filibustering this pro-Israel legislation with the thin excuse that they didn’t want to take up any other business, it turns out it was just the pro-Israel legislation that was off-limits.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 1/28/2019)


Democrats Filibustered The Bipartisan Bill Of Middle East Security Measures

Democrats filibustered the bill 3 times. (S. 1, Roll Call Vote #1: Motion rejected 56-44: R 52-1; D 4-41; I 0-2, 1/08/2019; S. 1, Roll Call Vote #2: Motion rejected 53-43: R 49-0; D 4-41; I 0-2, 1/10/2019; S. 1, Roll Call Vote #3: Motion rejected 50-43: R 47-1; D 3-40; I 0-2, 1/14/2019)

“The Middle East bill was expected to advance before Democrats over the weekend raised the idea of preventing debate and votes on anything other than bills to reopen the government. The idea was quickly embraced Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other members of his caucus.” (“Democrats Block Middle East Bill In The Senate Over Shutdown,” CNN, 1/08/2019)


Yet Dems Voted To Advance Their Own Foreign Policy Bill

“McConnell argued … that by calling up the Russia sanctions measure, Schumer and the Democrats were demonstrating that they were not really prepared to block all Senate legislative activity until the end of the partial government shutdown. Democrats have thus far blocked limiting debate on multiple motions to proceed to a package of Middle East policy bills that were held over from 2018, including security assistance for Israel and additional Syria-related sanctions.” (Roll Call, 1/16/2019)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “We have to take this vote now.” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S. 201, 1/15/2019)


Package Of Bipartisan Legislation ‘Is Designed To Illustrate The Need For A Strong, Continuing U.S. Presence In The Middle East’

“The Senate is moving quickly to assert its point-of-view on U.S. policy regarding Syria and in the broader Middle East …” (“Senate Set To Assert Itself On Syria Sanctions, Middle East Policy Early In 2019,” Roll Call, 1/03/2019)

  • “Senate aides say the move is designed to illustrate the need for a strong, continuing U.S. presence in the Middle East and re-assert the role of Congress on national security.” (NBC News, 1/03/2019)

“The bill, also called the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act, rolls together four bills that were supported by both Democrats and Republicans in the last Congress but weren't ultimately enacted before the year ran out.” (NBC News, 1/03/2019)

  • “Other parts of the Senate bill aim to bolster U.S. support for allies who neighbor Syria and are thus on the front lines of pushing back against the extremist threat in Syria as well as Iran's presence there. One piece boosts U.S. defense cooperation with Jordan while another authorizes continued U.S. financing to Israel to buy American weapons and allows the U.S. to transfer its own munitions to Israel in an emergency.” (NBC News, 1/03/2019)




Related Issues: Israel, Syria, War on Terror, ISIL, Senate Democrats, National Security