Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., voted against a bill that authorizes state and local governments to demand that contractors declare they do not support boycotts of Israel or its settlements in the West Bank despite previous criticism of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement launched by Palestinians working to "end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law."
Booker's office did not provide a comment to The Washington Free Beacon on his decision to vote against the measure, titled the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019.
Seventy-six senators voted in favor of the bill, including a majority of Senate Democrats. But 22 voted against the legislation, including Booker, Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. All are potential 2020 candidates.
Sanders said he did not support the BDS movement but voted against the bill because it was clear "that this bill would violate Americans' First Amendment rights."
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he opposed the bill "because it limits the right of individuals to express themselves. I don't think it's anti-Semitic [to vote no]. It's because of the Bill of Rights."
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