Tag: Congress

The Trump administration says it wants to shut down the PLO mission. Now what?

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In 1987, Congress passed legislation that declared there would never be an office of the Palestine Liberation Organization on U.S. soil. President Ronald Reagan agreed and signed the law.

Seven years later the law was still on the books. But that year the PLO opened an office in Washington — with the blessing of Congress and President Bill Clinton.

Since then, a PLO office has remained in the U.S. capital, navigating a persistent anomaly: The 1987 law officially bans the existence of a PLO office, but it remains open as long as the Palestinians…

House passes tax reform that critics warn could politicize houses of worship

(JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed major tax reform legislation along party lines that critics said effectively repeals an amendment designed to keep houses of worship nonpartisan.

The vote Thursday was 227-205, with 13 House Republicans joining all Democrats to oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Its passage represents the advancement of a key agenda item for President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, CNN reported.

The Anti-Defamation League said the bill constitutes a repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which bars tax-exempt nonprofits from endorsing or opposing candidates. For decades, the ADL said, the amendment “has protected…

Congressional bill would prevent US funding for Israel’s detention of Palestinian children

(JTA) — A Minnesota congresswoman has introduced a bill that seeks to prevent the United States from funding Israel’s military detention of Palestinian children.

The legislation introduced Tuesday by Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat, has at least nine co-sponsors. It would require the secretary of state to certify annually that U.S. assistance to Israel has not been used in the previous year to militarily detain, interrogate or abuse Palestinian children.

“The purpose of this act is to promote and protect the human rights of Palestinian children and to ensure that United States taxpayer funds shall not be used to…

New Jewish Democratic group launched in reaction to Trump

(JTA) — Jewish and Democratic leaders, including dozens of members of Congress, attended the launch of a group designed to connect the Democratic Party and the Jewish community.

The Jewish Democratic Council of America was launched Wednesday night at an event on Capitol Hill.

“This new organization will provide a strong voice for Jewish Democrats and fill a serious recent void in the national political discussion,” the group said in a statement on its website in August when it announced its formation plans. “It will unify and mobilize Jewish Democrats with other like-minded groups supporting mutually beneficial and agreed upon…

Congressional panel considers Jerusalem embassy move

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A congressional panel heard testimony on whether the United States should move its Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem.

The hearing Wednesday by the national security subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee was not attached to any bill. Since 1995, Congress has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and mandated the move there.

Presidents since then have exercised a national security waiver, which lasts six months. President Donald Trump exercised the waiver in June, although he had campaigned on moving the embassy from Tel Aviv.

The hearing appeared essentially performative and not aimed at…