WASHINGTON – The Senate voted Monday to advance a legislative package of bills related to Israel and the Middle East, including a bill against the BDS movement.
Seventy-four senators voted in favor of advancing the bill to a final vote, while 17 opposed it. Even though all of the “no” votes” came from Democratic senators, the majority of Democratic senators voted in favor of the bill.
The actual vote on the bill will most likely take place later this week and is expected to easily pass the Senate.
Among the prominent Democratic senators who voted against advancing the bill were Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) and Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), who are both in the midst of preparing for a presidential run next year.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (Independent of Vermont), another potential presidential contender, also voted against the legislation, explaining that “while I do not support the BDS movement, we must defend every American’s constitutional right to engage in political activity. It is clear to me that this bill would violate Americans’ First Amendment rights."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Democrat of Minnesota), who is often discussed as a potential presidential candidate, voted in favor of the legislation. Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, two more prominent names on the 2020 candidates list, did not attend the vote. Harris was in Iowa for a campaign event.