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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 KustoffLobbying world Trump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid GOP to launch discharge petition on anti-BDS measure MORE (Tenn.) and Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinRepublican fears grow over rising Democratic tide DCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to 'Red to Blue' program Overnight Defense: House panel probes Pompeo's convention speech | UN council rejects US demand to restore Iran sanctions | Court rules against Pentagon policy slowing expedited citizenship MORE (N.Y.) along with House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseJordan vows to back McCarthy as leader even if House loses more GOP seats Cedric Richmond's next move: 'Sky's the limit' if Biden wins Candymakers meet virtually with lawmakers for annual fly-in, discuss Halloween safety 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 PelosiGOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas 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 OmarVeterans launch pro-law enforcement super PAC with battlegrounds ad buys Kamala Harris and the stereotypes we place on Black women Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair 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.