FMEP Legislative Round-Up: March 15, 2024


1. Bills, Resolutions
2. Letters
3. AIPAC Congressional Summit 2024
4. Hearings & Markups
5. Selected Media & Press releases/Statements

New episode of FMEP’s Occupied Thoughts podcast:


1. Bills & Resolutions

(NO $$ FOR REBUILDING GAZA, INCL GAZA PORT FOR HUMANITARIAN AID) HR 7616: Introduced 3/11/24 by Mast (R-FL), “To prohibit the use of Federal funds to provide assistance for building in, or rebuilding Gaza, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Also see press release – Mast Introduces Legislation to Stop Biden’s Misguided Gaza Port

(CONDEMNING SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, INCLUDING ISRAELI & PALESTINIAN WOMEN) H. Res. 1068: Introduced 3/8/24 by Dingell (D-MI) and 21 cosponsors, “Condemning rape and sexual violence against women.Referred to the Committees on Foreign Affairs and the Judiciary. Also see press release: Dingell, Tokuda, Salinas Introduce Resolution Condemning Sexual Violence

(MORE US $$ FOR MIDEAST COUNTRIES — BUT ONLY THOSE THAT NORMALIZE WITH ISRAEL) HR 7633 (text): Introduced 3/12/24 by James (R-MI) and McCaul (R-TX), “To provide authority to enhance security assistance with countries that are engaged in regional security cooperation efforts in the Middle East and North Africa, and for other purposes,” aka, “The Enhance Cooperation Against Terrorism Act.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Also see press release: John James Introduces Bill to Enhance Security Cooperation with Israel and the Middle East [Jones – “The Enhance Cooperation Against Terrorism Act creates an incentive to enhance security in the Middle East against threats from Iran, while also furthering cooperation with Israel. This legislation also serves communities like Michigan’s 10 Congressional District by helping expedite the work to improve and modernize our foreign military sales, in turn strengthening our defense industrial base.” and McCaul – “From Yemen to Ukraine, Iran is wreaking havoc around the globe. We must do all we can to ensure our partners and allies are working together – with the U.S. and each other – to address these shared threats. This bill will create a pathway for Middle Eastern countries to receive special consideration for arms sales if they are taking steps to normalize relations with Israel and engage in efforts to counter the threat posed by Iran and its proxies.

(WE STILL *HEART* THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION) H. Res. 1074: Introduced 3/12/24 by Escobar (D-TX) and 95 cosponsors, “Reaffirming the House of Representatives support of a two-state solution.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The resolution reads: “Whereas Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in safety and security and to enjoy freedom, dignity, and prosperity; and Whereas the House of Representatives is committed to ensuring the enduring peace and security of both Israelis and Palestinians: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives— (1) reaffirms the State of Israel’s right to exist, as a Jewish, democratic state; (2) recognizes Palestinians’ right to sovereignty and self-determination through a Palestinian state; (3) supports a two-state solution as the best path to achieve lasting peace; and (4) condemns all calls and actions that reject and undermine a two-state solution.” Also see: Video of Escobar press conference announcing the resolution.

(TARGETING TIKTOK) HR 7521: Introduced 3/5/24 by Gallagher (R-WI and having 51 bipartisan cosponsrs, the, “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act.” This legislation would compel TikTok’s Chinese owners to either sell their ownership stake in TikTok or face the app being barred from sale to in app stores (in effect, banning the TikTok in the US – a move that would be INCREDIBLY unpopular among a large portion of the US electorate, especially younger generations). Also see: floor consideration. On 3/13/24, the House voted to suspend the rules and pass HR 7521 by a vote of 352-65, with 1 voting present. The fate of the bill in the Senate is, as yet, unclear.

(PRESERVING FREEDOM OF NAVIGATION IN THE RED SEA/GULF OF ADEN) H. Con. Res. 98: Introduced 3/13/24 by Gonzales (R-TX) and 9 cosponsors (including 1 Democrat), “Affirming the vital importance to the United States and its allies and partners of actions necessary to preserve peace, security, and freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on the Judiciary.

(FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUS) HR 7612: Introduced 3/11/24 by Houchin (R-IN) and 2 cosponsors (both Republicans), “To affirm and protect the First Amendment rights of students and student organizations at public institutions of higher education,” aka, the Students Bill of Rights Act of 2024.Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Also see: press release – Congresswoman Houchin Introduces the “Students Bill of Rights Act of 2024” to Safeguard Free Speech on College CampusesNOTE: As of this writing text of HR 7612 is not available. Given the sponsor/cosponsors of this bill, it is clear that its focus is alleged (by the political right-wing) violations of the free speech rights of conservative/right-wing students – not the actual ongoing/expanding violations of the free speech rights of students with respect to issues like Israel/Palestine (a trend that Congress is not only unconcerned about, but is actively driving). It will be interesting to see how this bill handles this challenge (as in, how it defends students’ free speech while maintaining a free speech exception for criticism of Israel/support for Palestinian rights).

(TARGETING HATE CRIMES) HR XXX (bill text): On 3/15/24, Reps. Beyer (D-VA) and Bacon (R-NE) announced ) the introduction of the “Improving Reporting to Prevent Hate Act.” Per their press release, this “bipartisan legislation that would strengthen credible and accurate reporting of bias-driven incidents to better respond to the national rise in antisemitic incidents and other hate crimes.

2. Letters

[SUPPORTING ISRAEL’S WAR ON GAZA] 3/13/24: Gottheimer, Kean Lead Bipartisan Letter Thanking Germany for Supporting Israel’s right to Self-Defense [letter text]

[NO IRAN SANCTIONS WAIVER] 3/13/24: Huizenga, Mast, Luetkemeyer, & Wilson Question Biden Administration on Iran Sanctions Waiver [letter text, dated 3/11/24]. Also see: Biden Admin Poised To Grant Iran Billions in Sanctions Relief, Lawmakers Warn (Free Beacon 3/12/4)

[TARGETING BIDEN OFFICIAL FOR IRAN CONTACTS] 3/13/24: Waltz Requests John Kerry Correspondence with Iranian Official, Cites Likely Logan Act Violation [letter text in press release]

[EITHER BIBI ALLOWS AID OR CUT OFF US $$] 3/12/24: Sanders, Van Hollen, Merkley, and Five Colleagues Urge President Biden to Enforce U.S. Law with Netanyahu [letter text, dated 3/11/24] Also see – Senators Urge Biden to Stop Arming Israel, Citing Violation of U.S. Aid Law (New York Times 3/12/24)

[ELON MUSK/X PLATFORMING FTOs] 3/11/24: Ranking Member Raskin and Rep. Goldman Press Comer for Hearing on Alarming Reports that X Is Selling Premium Services to Terrorist Groups and Sanctioned Entities [letter text]

[HELP COMMITTEE TARGETS UAW FOR DARING TO SUPPORT PALESTINIAN RIGHTS] 3/11/24: Foxx Subpoenas UAW Local 2325 After It Obstructs Committee Inquiry into Divisive, Antisemitic Resolution [letter] [subpoena]. Also see: Why Is Congress Investigating a Union for Being Anti-Israel? (New York Times 3/15/24)

[NO US $$ FOR GAZA PORT] 3/8/24: Waltz Presses President Biden on Temporary Gaza Port Proposal [letter text] – excerpt from press release: “In his letter, Waltz questions President Biden on how his administration can distribute aid to the civilian population despite officials confirming that much of the aid could be stolen and resold. Additionally, Waltz presses Biden on how the U.S. can maintain security over the port and how this operation seems to be a mis-prioritization of resources.

[CONCERNS ABOUT ISRAEL’S WAR ON GAZA] 3/11/24: Van Hollen Leads a Dozen Colleagues in Request for Briefing on Implementation of National Security Memorandum 20 [letter text]

[HOUSE EDUCATION & WORKFORCE COMMITTEE TARGET MIT] 3/8/24: @EdWorkforceCmte Continues Antisemitism Investigation with Letter to MIT [letter text]. Also see: House Presses MIT To Provide Records on Its Response to Campus Anti-Semitism (Free Beacon 3/8/24)


3. AIPAC Congressional Summit 2024

This week AIPAC held its “Congressional Summit” in DC. A version of their agenda for their lobby meetings, as shared with Hill staff, is here, comprising 3 asks:

(a) Stand with Israel — “We will urge your boss to stand with Israel as it works to defend its people from Hamas and Iran’s other terror proxies. We will urge the representative to continue demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all the hostages held in Gaza.”

(b) Support Security Assistance to Israel “We will discuss with the representative the urgency of passing the $14.3 billion emergency assistance package for Israel and the annual $3.8 billion for security assistance and missile defense cooperation. We will urge the representative to express to their leadership the urgency of passing an emergency aid bill that can reach the president’s desk and be signed into law.

(c) Support Increased Enforcement of Iran Sanctions“We will discuss with the representative Iran’s rapidly advancing nuclear program and urge them to cosponsor the Iran Sanctions Enforcement Act (H.R. 6201). Authored by Reps. August Pfluger (R-TX) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), the bill provides vital new tools to the administration to seize Iranian assets — including Iranian oil shipments exported in violation of U.S. law.

The message to Hill staff included links to 3 AIPAC documents:

  • Factsheet — The October 7th Attack: This document includes FAQs explaining that (a) Hamas is responsible for every civilian casualty in Gaza; Israel does not target civilians; Israel seeks to minimize Palestinian casualties; nobody should trust Palestinian casualty figures; calls for ceasefire are wrong, there as a ceasefire in place on October 6 which Hamas broke, and a “premature” ceasefire would serve Hamas. The document includes 3 asks: (1) Support the emergency security assistance package for Israel; (2) Continue to publicly stand with Israel against Hamas; and (3) Oppose calls for a ceasefire until Israel has achieved its objectives.
  • A document entitled, Israel’s Multi-Front War: This document focuses on the region as a whole (and which focused on alleged Iranian funding across the region, including in the West Bank and Gaza Strip). The document includes the following asks: (1) Stand With Our Ally [“Ensure Israel has the time, resources and diplomatic support needed to defeat Hamas and free the hostages. The president’s emergency security package and annual security assistance to Israel, without added conditions, help ensure our ally’s security.”];  (2) Enforce Sanctions [“Fully enforce sanctions on Tehran and its terror proxies, including by cracking down on Iran’s illicit oil exports, to limit the resources available to the regime.“]; (3) Deter With A Credible Military Threat [“Create effective deterrence through the credible threat of military force against Iran and by taking military action when necessary to protect American interests and allies.”]; (4) Isolate Iran Diplomatically [“Increase the diplomatic pressure on Iran to persuade the regime to end its regional aggression, its quest for nuclear weapons, and its systemic human rights abuses against the Iranian people.“]; and (5) Expand Regional Alliances [“Work with Israel and our other regional partners to build upon the Abraham Accords and expand the circle of peace in the Middle East.“]
  • A memo on The Iran Sanctions Enforcement Act (H.R. 6201 and S. 319).

In addition, recently produced/disseminated AIPAC talking points/fact sheets – which based on press reports are clearly part of the attendee lobbying package, include:

  • A memo dated 3/5/24 entitled, UNRWA: An Obstacle to Peace that Must Be Replaced [“The Way Forward — While UNRWA provides important humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians — especially during the ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza — it is a morally bankrupt and corrupt organization. All efforts over several decades to reform UNRWA have failed. The United States must institute a plan that ends American funding for UNRWA and urges our allies to do the same. Humanitarian aid to the Palestinians must be delivered through an alternative mechanism that promotes peaceful coexistence with Israel and is not indifferent to terror.”]
  • A memo dated 3/5/24 entitled, Israel Facilitates Humanitarian Aid to Gaza as Hamas Continues to Attack [“Israel is facilitating massive amounts of humanitarian assistance to Gaza — including food, water, medicine, fuel, and shelter supplies — despite Hamas continuing indiscriminate rocket fire on Israeli civilians while holding over 130 Israelis hostage. Substantial amounts of this aid are not reaching Gazan civilians in a timely manner due to the ineffectiveness of the U.N. and humanitarian organizations at processing and distributing the aid. Hamas contributes to the problem by regularly stealing and diverting aid intended for civilians. The U.S. and international community must pressure Hamas to surrender and release all the remaining hostages. Only with the defeat of Hamas can life in Gaza significantly improve.“]
  • A memo dated 2/2/24 entitled, American Recognition of Palestinian Statehood Today Would Reward Terror and Undermine Peace [“The Way Forward —The path to Israeli-Palestinian peace must start with removing Hamas from power and the emergence of a reformed and revamped Palestinian Authority committed to peace. Once these objectives are achieved, a true path to peace between Israel and the Palestinians becomes possible. Circumventing reform and direct negotiations — either through a unilateral American recognition of a Palestinian state or failure to veto a recognition resolution at the U.N. Security Council — would ultimately undermine genuine peace and harm both Palestinians and Israelis.“]
  • A memo dated 2/2/24 entitled, Anti-Israel Action at the U.N. Since October 7 [“The Way Forward: The U.S. must continue to fight anti-Israel bias at the United Nations. America must institute a plan that ends American funding for UNRWA and urge our allies to do the same. Humanitarian aid to the Palestinians must be delivered through an alternative mechanism that promotes peaceful coexistence with Israel, rather than terrorism. The U.S. must continue to support Israel at the U.N. Security Council, veto one-sided resolutions targeting Israel, and seek to remove antisemitic and anti-Israel U.N. officials. The U.S. must also continue to defend Israel at the International Court of Justice and reject South Africa’s baseless and slanderous claims against Israel.”]
  • A memo dated 3/4/24 entitled, Hamas is Choosing Violence Over Peace Ahead of Ramadan [“The Way Forward – To help promote peace and stability, America must continue to publicly condemn Hamas for continuing to reject the agreement on the table, press Palestinian leaders to end their deadly policies, and help ensure Israel has the resources and support needed to defend its citizens from this growing terrorist threat. The United States must also applaud Israeli efforts to protect the freedom of worship for people of all faiths. The international community should press Palestinian leaders to end their dangerous incitement, which threatens all worshipers and undermines American efforts to ultimately bring an end to the fighting.”]
  • A undated memo related to AIPAC’s PAC (“The United Democracy Project”) entitled, BEING PRO-ISRAEL IS GOOD POLICY AND GOOD POLITICS [“The AIPAC PAC was founded in December 2021 to support pro-Israel candidates and members of Congress, and in just one year we delivered more money directly to candidates than any other PAC in America. We endorsed 365 candidates over the course of the election cycle, and 98% of AIPAC PAC-endorsed candidates won their general election races…”]

For additional insights into AIPAC’s lobbying agenda, including as relates to its spending in the 2024 election cycle, see this 3/14/24 excellent article in the American Prospect, AIPAC Talking Points Revealed – Documents show that the powerful lobby is spreading its influence on Capitol Hill by calling for unconditional military aid to Israel and hyping up threats from Iran. Also see: Israel Lobby Pushes Lie That People Are Not Starving in Gaza: Report (Rolling Stone 3/14/24)

General media coverage of the AIPAC Congressional Summit:

Notable this year was the launching of an organized campaign challenging members of Congress to “Reject AIPAC.” Media coverage:


4. Hearings & Markups

April 17, 2024: The House Education and Workforce Committee will hold a hearing entitled, Columbia in Crisis: Columbia University’s Response to Antisemitism. Witnesses (so far) will be: Dr. Nemat “Minouche” Shafik, President, Columbia University; Ms. Claire Shipman, Board of Trustees Co-Chair, Columbia University; and Mr. David Greenwald, Board of Trustees Co-Chair, Columbia University. Also see: Columbia University leaders to get grilled by Congress at antisemitism hearing (CNN 3/12/24); Columbia University leaders to testify before Congress on campus antisemitism (Jewish Insider 3/12/24); Columbia university president to testify about campus antisemitism (Jewish News Syndicate 3/13/24) NOTE: The decision by officials of Columbia University to voluntarily subject themselves to what will be another grandstanding, anti-academia witch hunt is just mind-boggling.  Truly.
March 20, 2024: The House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing entitled, Examining the Current Status of Iran’s Axis of Resistance and the Implications for Homeland Security and U.S. Interests. As of this writing there are no announced witnesses are.

March 11, 2024: The Senate Intelligence Committee held a hearing entitled, Worldwide Threats. Witnesses were: ODNI Director Avril Haines; CIA Director Bill Burns; Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research Brett Holmgren; NSA/CSS Director Timothy Haugh; FBI Director Christopher Wray; and DIA Director Jeffrey Kruse. Also see:

5. Selected Media & Press releases/statements


Israel’s War on Gaza & Related Stuff

Supplemental Aid for Israel

Targeting UNRWA

Iran Policy & Related

Targeting Free Speech/Academia

Other Stuff