Photo Credit: U.S. government
Capitol Hill.

The U.S. Senate failed to pass legislation on Tuesday that combined four measures into one bill that would have helped Israel and sanctioned Syria, due to a political battle over the current government shutdown.

The legislation was to have authorized $3.3 billion annually in military support for Israel, reauthorized the U.S.-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act, enabled U.S. states and local authorities to ban transactions with companies and individuals who support the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions campaign against Israel (BDS) – titled the Combating BDS Act – and imposed financial sanctions on the Syrian government as well as companies or banks doing business with the country.

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However, 60 votes were needed to pass the measure, introduced by Republican Marco Rubio.

The vote was 56-44, with Democrats blocking the bill in order to pressure the Trump administration over the current government shutdown.

Senators reconvene Thursday morning to consider the bill “to make improvements to certain defense and security assistant provisions and to authorize the appropriations of funds to Israel to reauthorize the United States Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015 and so halt the wholesale slaughter of the Syrian people and for other purposes.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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