FMEP Legislative Round-Up: July 14 2023


Guest edited by Madeleine Cereghino, Director of Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now, where the Round-Up was born!

1.  Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2. Hearings & Events
3. Herzog in DC
4. Media & Reports
5. Members on the Record


1 – Bills, Resolutions & Letters

(No Federal Contracts with Entities that Boycott Israel) H.R.4564 — Introduced 07/11/2023 by Rep. Claudia Tenney the “Countering Hate Against Israel by Federal Contractors Act” per Tenney’s press release would “prevent the federal government from entering into contracts with entities that support the radical, anti-Semitic BDS movement targeting Israel.” Referred to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Also see:

(Condemning Biden Admin for Rejoining UNESCO) H.Res.581, “Condemning the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and refraining the United States from rejoining.” was introduced 7/11/2023 by Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL-17). Per the press release the “he mismanaged organization has a long history of anti-United States bias, anti-Israel bias, and has honored countries that consistently violate human rights. This critical resolution recognizes that the U.S. was right to withdraw from UNESCO and recognizes that the organization should not receive U.S. taxpayer funding.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Also see:

  • Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL-17) press release
  • Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL-17) tweet – “I introduced a resolution to condemn the corrupt UNESCO – a mismanaged organization with a long history of anti-United States bias, anti-Israel bias, and honoring countries that consistently violate human rights. The Biden administration’s plan to pay $600 million dollars in back dues to this corrupt organization is the opposite of America First policy. This critical resolution recognizes that the U.S. was right to withdraw from UNESCO under President Trump’s leadership and recognizes that the organization should not receive U.S. taxpayer funding.”
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee Democrats 7/11/23 tweet praising the administration for rejoining UNESCO –“RM @RepGregoryMeeks: Thrilled to see the US has returned as a full member state of @UNESCO, an important step toward international cooperation, peace and preservation of cultural heritage.” 

(US-Israel International Development Cooperation) S.2240 — Introduced 7/11/2023 by Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) the “United States-Israel International Development Cooperation Act” would, per Coons’ press release, “reauthorize and expand a successful program that enables the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Israeli Agency for International Development and Cooperation (MASHAV) to co-develop and cooperate on international projects.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Also see:

(Using IHRA to weaponize false accusations of antisemitism while conflating Israeli settlements with the state of Israel) On 7.11.23 Senator Ted Cruz and 13 of his Republican colleagues sent a letter to President Biden and Secretary Blinken calling on the Administration to reverse the recently reimposed geographic restrictions on scientific cooperation with Israel and threatening to hold up nominees. “The new guidance as written constitutes an antisemitic boycott of Israel. The American people and Congress broadly and deeply oppose boycott efforts against Israel, which have been repeatedly defined in U.S. law as efforts to limit commercial with persons doing business in any territories controlled by Israel.” Also, Jewish Insider reported that Senator Ted. Cruz planned to introduce an amendment that would reverse this guidance during the Senate Foreign Relations during their Thursday markup of the 2024 State Department Authorization bill, but this did not materialize.

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(Investigate Special Envoy Suspension) On July 13, 2023 Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and 17 of his Republican colleagues sent a letter to Acting Inspector General Diana Shaw calling for an independent investigation into whether State Department officials complied with all appropriate laws and regulations with respect to the suspension of Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley’s access to classified information

Also see:

  • Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) press release
  • Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) press release
  • Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) press release
  • July 11, 2023 State Department response to Rep. Michael McCaul’s (R-TX-10) 6.30.23 letter asking for details on Rob Malley’s clearance suspension. “Consistent with longstanding Executive Branch and Department of State policies and practices, the Department is not in a position to provide further documents or information related to this personnel-security clearance matter.”


(Push UN to investigate and prosecute war crimes in Syria) H.Res.590 – The Justice for Syrians Resolution introduced 7/13/2023 by Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-12) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5). “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding calling on the President to direct the United States Representative to the United Nations to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States to immediately promote the establishment of an appropriate regional or international justice mechanism through the United Nations and United Nations General Assembly to investigate and prosecute possible war crimes, crimes against humanity, and violations of internationally recognized human rights stemming from the conflict in Syria, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Also see:


This week, after a more chaotic process than normal the House passed a highly partisan version of the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act, aka, the NDAA filled with conservative social issue ammendments– see 6/23 Round-Up for details of the base text; final text coming out of committee is here. See last week’s roundup for Middle East amendments submitted to the Rules Committee covering Amendments 470 – 1558 and the previous week’s roundup covering Amdts. 1-469. To view which amendments were ruled in order, visit the Rules Committee Website, to track the vote on individual amendments, visit the House Armed Services Committee amendment tracker. See also:


2 – Hearings & Events

July 11, 2023 Senate Armed Services with Joint Chiefs Chairman Nominee Brown

Questioning by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL): “I was in Israel when they had to go into Janine and kill the terrorists that were targeting Israeli citizens and everybody I talked to in Israel, all they talked about was the problems with Iran went to Bahrain. And they’re concerned about the madness of Iran…Also, while I was over there, the US Navy was able to and you really have to admire the Fifth Fleet. What they did, they stopped two ships from being taken over by Iranian forces, and did a great job.”Gen. Charles Brown “As you highlighted for me, the countries in the region have started to talk more about Iran. And I think that’s one of the areas that I know, having served there and it’s United States Central Command several times. We’ve been focused on counterterrorism. He’s now think about the aspect of Iran in the national Kurdish documents, national security strategy, national defense strategy, the coalescing of all the nations now to talk about this provides us an opportunity to work more closely together in our collective efforts to deter the activities by Iran, whether it’s in the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf or any other place in the Middle East.”

Also see:

July 13, 2023: The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee held a business meeting that included a markup of the Department of State Authorization Act of 2023. While the Cruz amendment (mentioned above) was not brought up during the meeting, the committee did adopt an amendment proposed by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) emphasizing the reciprocity requirement for a country to be eligible to join the US Visa Waiver Program.  

Also see: 

July 18, 2023: The House Foreign Relations Committee  Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled “The Dire State of Religious Freedom Around the World.” Witnesses include Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean and director of Global Social Action Agenda for the Simon Wiesenthal Center


3 – Herzog in DC

As previously reported. Israeli President Isaac Herzog will be in Washington, DC July 18 -19, 2023. He will be meeting with President Biden at the White House on July 18 and on the 19th he will be meeting with Vice President Harris at the White House and giving a Joint Address to Congress. Members of Congress have begun announcing their intention to skip the address, starting with Representative Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN-5) lengthy announcement over twitter (see below). As of writing, Representatives Ilhan Omar, Alexandrio Ocasio Cortez, Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush have announced their intention to skip the address.

Also see:

  • Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5) 7/12/23 tweet – “There is no way in hell I am attending the joint session address from a President whose country has banned me and denied @RashidaTlaib the ability to see her grandma. A thread: WE SHOULD NOT BE INVITING THE PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL—A GOVERNMENT WHO UNDER ITS CURRENT PRIME MINISTER BARRED THE FIRST TWO MUSLIM WOMEN ELECTED TO CONGRESS FROM VISITING THE COUNTRY—TO GIVE A JOINT ADDRESS TO CONGRESS. Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address comes on behalf of the most right wing government in Israel’s history, at a time when the government is openly promising to “crush” Palestinian hopes of statehood—essentially putting a nail in the coffin of peace and a two-state solution. It comes as extreme right wing Israeli cabinet members directly attack President Biden, saying Israel is ‘no longer a star’ on the US flag.It also comes as the Israeli government is pushing through what legal experts describe as a judicial coup to centralize power and undermine checks on their power, prompting months of mass demonstrations against the government throughout Israel. And above all, it comes during the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank in history, immediately following Israel’s largest incursion into the occupied West Bank in two decades, one that flattened city blocks, and killed at least a dozen people. Human rights groups, legal experts, and most of the international community has condemned the increasing violations of international law and human rights. It is also not lost on me that the last time an Israeli leader was invited to give a joint address to Congress, he openly defied President Barack Obama and attacked his Middle East policy from the House Chamber. While executive power in Israel is vested in the Prime Minister and his cabinet, the president as head of state as traditionally served as a “faithful policy ambassador” for the government in charge. Last month, I opposed the invitation for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a joint session based on his government’s human rights record. And this month I will not attend a similar address from Israeli President Isaac Herzog. The United States can and should use its diplomatic tools to engage with the Israeli government, but giving the current government the honor of a joint televised address sends the absolute wrong signal at the wrong time.”
  • Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) tweet
  • Haaretz 7/13/23: Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush Join Ilhan Omar in Boycott of Israeli President’s Address to Congress
  • Washington Free Beacon 7/13/23 ‘No Way in Hell’: Ilhan Omar Announces Boycott of Israeli President’s Address to Congress 
  • Jewish Insider 7/14/23 Ocasio-Cortez, Bowman, Omar to boycott Herzog’s speech, others remain mum


4 – Media & Reports

Haaretz 7/9/23 Meet the Megadonor Who Connects Bibi’s Judicial Coup and the GOP

Haaretz 7/9/23 Biden Calls Out ‘Most Extreme’ Israeli Government for Fueling Tensions With Palestinians

Times of Israel 7/9/23 Biden says Netanyahu’s government has some of ‘the most extreme’ members he’s seen in Israel

Roll Call 7/10/23 Congress must focus more on Biden’s Iran diplomacy, former Sen. Lieberman says

Forward 7/10/23 Trump hosts 150 Orthodox leaders, delivers Israel speech at golf course dinner

The Wall Street Journal 7/10/23 U.S. Ambassador Warned Israel Against ‘Going Off the Rails’ With Judicial Overhaul

Haaretz 7/10/23 Outgoing U.S. Ambassador Warns Israel Against ‘Going Off the Rails’ With Judicial Overhaul

New York Times 7/11/23 The U.S. Reassessment of Netanyahu’s Government Has Begun

Axios 7/11/23 U.S. calls on Israel to not crack down on anti-government protesters

Haaretz 7/12/23 Trump: Netanyahu Was First to Congratulate Biden, Now Can’t Get Invited to White House

Times of Israel 7/13/23 Herzog receives formal White House invitation, with PM still waiting on invite


5 – Members on the Record

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) 7/7/23 press release– “PHOTO RELEASE Sen. Rick Scott Celebrates Abraham Accords During Visits to Israel, Bahrain and Dubai”

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) 7/7/23 retweet –“In the terror attack in Tel Aviv a pregnant woman was hit by the car ramming terrorists and was gravely injured. Tragically the fetus did not survive. This is the level of barbarity Israel is facing.”

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) 7/7/23 tweet –“Honored to meet with leaders in Israel, Bahrain and the UAE to discuss the Abraham Accords and the importance of working together to combat terrorism. The U.S. needs partners willing to put their own resources and people on the line to combat Iran and the terror groups it supports. This is the way forward for all who seek greater economic and security benefits in the region and beyond.”

Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ-2) 7/9/2023 tweet –“In the past month, the @WhiteHouse has: Instated a boycott of Israeli Jews living in their homeland. Hired an antisemite & terrorist sympathizer as a senior advisor. Snubbed the leader of the Jewish State Hey @POTUS, tell us again about that plan to combat antisemitism.” Retweeted by Rep. George Santos (R-NY-03)

Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE-2) 7/9/2023 tweet –“I stand by Israel is right.”

Rep. John Curtis Santos (R-UT-03) 7/10/23 retweet –“Thank you Congressman @RepJohnCurtis for being a true friend of the Jewish people both here in Utah County, and in the great state of Israel. Was great chatting with you this morning!”

Rep. Don Davis (D-NC-01) 7/10/2023 tweet –“Our work continues. Recently, I signed onto another 13 bipartisan bills, including 3 that safeguard our national security: H.R. 3792, the U.S.-Israel Partnership & Abraham Accords Enhancement Act of 2023, expresses America’s commitment to Israeli security, bilateral cooperation, and integrating Israel into the broader Middle East through the Abraham Accords. The legislation reauthorizes the U.S.-Israel energy cooperation, bilateral projects in developing countries, & the U.S. War Reserve Stockpile in Israel.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY-12) 7/11/2023 tweet –“I continue to express my profound concerns with Israel’s governing coalition’s anti-democratic judicial overhaul plans, part of which moved forward early this morning. These proposals undermine the system of checks and balances and the protection of minority rights, both of which are core to Israel’s democratic identity. Along with the thousands of peaceful demonstrators across Israel who are standing up for Israeli democracy, I urge the government to reconsider these plans and seek appropriate compromise.”

Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-7) 7/11/2023 tweet –“.@HouseGOP is bringing FY24’s #NDAA to the House floor this week. Here are just some of the amendments I cosponsored… 

@RepMikeLawler’s Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords: Expands and strengthens the Abraham Accords. This amendment is imperative to creating a lasting peace between Israel and the rest of the Middle East.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05) 7/12/23 tweet –“The International Court of Justice is again unjustly targeting Israel. I led 35 bipartisan Members urging @SecBlinken to eliminate negative bias toward Israel at international bodies, and submit a strong brief opposing an advisory opinion against Israel. This is but the latest in a series of escalating attacks on Israel at the United Nations, initiated by the Palestinian Authority, which are unfairly and disproportionately singling out the Jewish State.”

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) 7/12/23 tweet –“Alongside a bipartisan group of colleagues, I am urging the administration to stand with Israel and push back against the UN General Assembly’s biased call for the ICJ to issue an anti-Israel advisory opinion.”

Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC-6) press release – “Reps. Manning, Meng, Smith, Wild, Salazar, Kustoff, Wasserman Schultz, And Bacon Secure Historic $2.5 Million For The Office Of The Special Envoy To Monitor And Combat Antisemitism”

See also:


Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN-03) 7/10/23 Tweet – “The Biden admin must explain why their lead Iran negotiator had his security clearance suspended.”

Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) 7/10/23 Tweet –“Three journalists are on trial in Iran — each facing up to 10 yrs in prison. Their crime? Reporting the facts. Iran’s continued crackdown on women, journalists & free speech is unacceptable & unsustainable. The US stands with those on the side of freedom.

Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI-09) 7/10/23 tweet – “Just like Obama failed to understand, Biden is now failing to come to grips with one simple reality: Iran has never and will never back down from building a nuclear arsenal. Make no mistake about it, this threat is real.”

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) 7/10/23 tweet –“Alarmed to hear @USEnvoyIran, a key player in negotiating Biden’s potential return to the dangerous Iran Deal, is under @FBI investigation for mishandling classified information. Did Iran gain access to U.S. intel? We need answers and accountability NOW.”

Rep. Young Kim (R-CA-40) 7/11/23 tweet –“The Iranian regime is yet again proving they have no regard for international law & cannot be trusted. Now is not the time for the Biden administration to give concessions. We must show resolve to halt any further aggression.”