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 KustoffGOP to launch discharge petition on anti-BDS measure It's time to defund the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen Progressives come to Omar's defense MORE (Tenn.) and Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinCo-founder of Israel boycott movement denied entry to US: report GOP to launch discharge petition on anti-BDS measure Stacey Abrams says Stephen Miller shows 'vestiges of white nationalism' MORE (N.Y.) along with House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph Scalise20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform GOP to launch discharge petition on anti-BDS measure This week: Democrats revive net neutrality fight 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent 20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars 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 OmarOcasio-Cortez plans visit to Kentucky despite being disinvited by GOP colleague Man arrested for threatening Dems, citing Omar comments Omar mocks Trump's claims of 'presidential harassment': 'Just lived through one!' 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.