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GOP to launch discharge petition on anti-BDS measure

House GOP lawmakers are launching a discharge petition to force a vote on Senate legislation that would allow state and city governments to penalize entities that seek to boycott, divest from or sanction Israel.

The effort targeting the BDS movement is being led by Reps. David KustoffDavid Frank KustoffREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Lobbying world Trump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid MORE (Tenn.) and Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinAndrew Giuliani to run for New York governor The US has a significant flooding problem — Congress can help GOP lawmakers ask acting inspector general to investigate John Kerry MORE (N.Y.) along with House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOn The Money: Powell says pickup in job gains likely this fall | Schumer, Pelosi meeting with White House on infrastructure Powell says pickup in job gains likely this fall Hillicon Valley: Senate unanimously confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar | Scrutiny mounts on Microsoft's surveillance technology | Senators unveil bill to crack down on cyber criminals MORE (La.) and House Foreign Affairs ranking member Mike McCaul (Texas).

“The Senate responded quickly and decisively with appropriate legislation to counter the dangerous BDS movement, but Speaker Pelosi has refused to bring this bipartisan bill to the House Floor and House Democrats stood idly by as their colleagues made senseless anti-Semitic remarks,” Scalise said in a statement, referring to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Senators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Tim Cook called Pelosi to say tech antitrust bills were rushed MORE (D-Calif.).

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If a majority of the House backs the discharge petition, it would be subject to a vote on the floor. Republicans will need to get 21 Democrats to get to a majority, assuming every Republican backs it.

Some Democrats who oppose the BDS movement could feel pressure to back the measure, though signing a discharge petition is seen as an act of betrayal to the majority.

The discharge petition comes as Republicans have sought to put pressure on Democrats generally over the issue of Israel. The GOP has repeatedly sought to use controversial statements by Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarYoung Turks founder on Democratic establishment: 'They lie nonstop' Hillary Clinton backs Shontel Brown in Ohio congressional race The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters MORE (D-Mich.), one of the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress, to divide Democrats.

McCaul said he believes they can garner the 218 signatures needed to force the vote, noting the measure overwhelmingly passed the upper chamber with bipartisan support.