U.S. Congress Split Over Trump's Historic Jerusalem Announcement

Republicans overwhelmingly support the decision, while Democrats' reactions fall across the spectrum

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) at the U.S. Capitol December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.
ALEX WONG/AFP

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Trump's speech on Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people was met with mixed reactions in the U.S. Congress. While members of the Republican Party overwhelmingly expressed support for the move, Democrats were split between those who congratulated Trump for it and those who called it a dangerous and irresponsible action.

On the Republican side, even usual critics of Trump, such as Senators Bob Corker and John McCain, praised him for the speech, describing it as historically justified and important. Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, who has recently been mentioned as a possible candidate to be the next head of the CIA, stated that Trump's speech "rightly acknowledged the plain truth that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel." The Republican Jewish Coalition, an organization supported by GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, printed a full-page advertisement in the New York Times thanking Trump for his decision, under the title "You promised, you delivered."

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On the Democratic side, some legislators, such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Reps. Ted Deutch of Florida and Brad Schneider of Illinois, expressed support for the President's decision. Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, a veteran Jewish lawmaker, welcomed Trump's announcement on Jerusalem, but also called on him to make a clear effort to promote a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii called Trump's decision irresponsible, stating that ״moving our U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem will imperil Americans, isolate our country, and make peace less likely. It’s reckless." A similar sentiment was expressed by other Democratic Senators, including former candidate for Vice President, Tim Kaine of Virginia. Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon stated that "Trump blows up chances for Middle East peace with announcement on Jerusalem, inflaming not just Arab neighbors but virtually the entire world."