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 ZeldinGovernors brace for 2022 after year in pandemic spotlight Republicans hit Biden over Afghanistan, with eye on midterms McCarthy: 'There will be a day of reckoning' for Biden MORE (N.Y.) along with House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOSHA faces big challenge with Biden vaccine mandate Overnight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Republicans ask FDA for details on any White House pressure on boosters 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 PelosiRepublicans caught in California's recall trap Raise the debt limit while starting to fix the budget   'Justice for J6' organizer calls on demonstrators to respect law enforcement 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, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan Enough with the GDP — it's time to measure genuine progress Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats eye potential carbon price in reconciliation bill 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.