• In Historic Move, Sen. Rand Paul Places Hold on $38 Billion to Israel

    Rand is also trying to stop anti-boycott legislation that has been introduced in the Senate that seeks to prevent people from boycotting Israel. Rand says the bill could violate First Amendment rights.


    Rand Paul under fire for blocking Israel bills

    By NAHAL TOOSI
    11/30/2018

    Sen. Rand Paul is infuriating Republicans and Democrats alike by blocking a pair of Israel-related bills, including one authorizing tens of billions of dollars in military aid for the country.

    Some advocacy groups are so mad at Paul they’re running ads against the Kentucky Republican, who insists that his long-term goal is actually to help Israel.

    The dust-up is the latest example of how Paul is willing to throw a wrench into routine legislation to uphold his libertarian instincts, which make him skeptical of foreign aid. It also could hurt his already-testy ties to President Donald Trump, who sees the U.S.-Israel relationship as near-sacrosanct.

    The main bill Paul is blocking puts into law an agreement reached under former President Barack Obama that gives Israel $38 billion in military assistance over 10 years. The measure has broad bipartisan support in Congress. Various versions of the bill have easily passed the Senate and the House in recent months, but the Senate still needs to pass a final version.

    ...

    The Trump administration already has taken separate moves to halt significant amounts of financial aid to Pakistan and the Palestinians, but Paul appears to want the aid stoppage to be formally put into law.

    Just this week, Paul placed a hold on a bill that is designed to counter the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” movement, congressional staffers confirmed. That movement urges companies and countries to penalize Israel through boycotts and other means over its treatment of the Palestinians. Rubio is also a lead sponsor of that legislation, which has plenty of bipartisan backing.

    ...

    Paul’s office said he has concerns that the anti-“boycott” bill could infringe on Americans’ First Amendment rights -- a concern other opponents of such measures share. In any case, his hold has further upset pro-Israel groups already steamed about his efforts to stop the aid package.

    ...
    more:
    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...senate-1036943


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