Arab Americans, civil liberties groups challenging anti-BDS bill in US Congress

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Democratic congressional leaders are in a stalemate with President Trump that has kept the government partially closed since December 22.

In a joint statement Monday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats must be given equal airtime to rebut Trump, who, "if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation".

"Less than a week after issuing a profanity-infused call to impeach President Trump on her first day in office, Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib is under fire from Republican politicians and commentators for openly posting what they call an anti-Semitic dog whistle on Twitter", writes Fox News. "This shutdown is squeezing the finances of so many Americans, including thousands of federal workers who live in Virginia".

Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate majority leader, has slotted as the first Senate bill of the new Congress a mini-omnibus package on Middle East policy.

The US government is now entering its third week of a shutdown as President Donald Trump has refused to sign any funding legislation that does not include $5 billion for a border wall with Mexico. Schumer is pushing his caucus to block the Middle East bill - the portentously numbered S.1 - through a filibuster when it comes to the Senate floor on Tuesday evening, shortly before Trump is to address the nation and make his case for the border wall. A deal with the White House, he said late last month, "should not be an impossible feat, given that Democrats have voted in the past for a wall". Ben Cardin, D-Md., a staunch supporter of anti-BDS legislation, tweeted that the Senate "should not take up any bills unrelated to reopening the government".

"The whole thing here is that we can not be business as usual, with the government shut down, people not getting paychecks and people getting hurt", she said. Pence is also set to speak with Senate Republicans on Wednesday.

S.B.1 adopts the unconstitutional language from Senator Rubio's Combating BDS Act, said ADC.

"There was a very negative reaction by the American public, and the American public today overwhelmingly believes the policy being pursued", Hoyer said.

First and foremost, it's a great messaging opportunity to highlight the differences between Democratic and Republican governing strategies.

Without White House support, the spending measures floundered in the final days of a House that was then still under Republican control.

McConnell went on to say partisan tantrums are no way to govern, and claimed Democrats should seek treatment for their allergies to border security. But Trump has said he will not sign the measure, and McConnell has repeatedly said the Senate won't advance legislation the president won't support.

On Wednesday, Gibbs said it is paramount for Congress to act and ensure individuals "working to protect America and the lives of our citizens" receive "their paychecks on time". Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Senator John Cornyn of Texas said the declaration "should be an extraordinary exception" and Representative Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said using military funds for the wall "will be damaging".

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