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Government Relations: April 2010 Archives

APN Legislative Round-Up: Week Ending April 30, 2010

1. Bills and resolutions
2. Extensions of remarks on Israel's 63rd birthday
3. House-Senate conference opens on Iran sanctions bill
4. New Pro-Peace sign-on Letter in the House

APN Legislative Round-Up for the Week Ending April 23, 2010

1.  Bills and Resolutions 
2.  IRPSA on the Move 
3.  APN message to IRPSA conferees 
4. APN to House on H. Con. Res. 260 - Don't Make Israel a Political Pawn 
5.  AIPAC letter on the Hill - how did they do? 
6.  Ackerman Backs Obama Admin's Syria Policy 
7. Schumer attacks Obama over Israel Policy 
8.  Joint NIAC-APN Oped in the Hill:  Changing Course on Iran Sanctions

APN on Criticism of Israel and BDS - New Policy Language

APN today released new policy language on the recently increasing growing public criticism of Israel, including the efforts to boycott Israel, divest from it and sanction it (known as the BDS movement).  The purpose of the new document is to clarify the often foggy discussion over this issue in America's pro-Israel community and to make clear what APN supports and opposes.  the full text of the policy is included after the break.

Today the House appointed representatives to the House-Senate conference on HR 2194 (which is now carrying the Senate-given name -- the "Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2009".)  This comes more than a month after the Senate amended the text of HR 2194 on March 11th - deleting the entire House text and inserting their own (the text of S. 2799) - and appointed its own conferees. 

While House appointees were formally appointed only today, it is well-known that over the past month House and Senate staff have been working to reconcile the bills.  It is also well-known that Administration officials have been weighing in to try to convince key members to accept what the Administration considers to be the minimum changes necessary to ensure the bill does not directly conflict with the President's Iran strategy and efforts.

Now that House conferees have been appointed, it is anticipated that the conference will formally conclude its work quickly - as indicated by House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA), who (link has expired) stated recently that he wanted Congress to pass the final version of the bill before the end of April.  UPDATED:  The motion to instruct that accompanied the appointment of House conferees stated that conferees were "to complete their work and present a conference report and joint explanatory statement by no later than May 28, 2010" -- potentially indicating that there will still be significant work completed in conference.

In response to today's events, APN sent a message to every conferee (House and Senate) - the message and the list of conferees is after the break.

APN tells House: Israel shouldn't be a political pawn

This morning APN sent the following message to all House offices:

Dear [        ],

This week Members of Congress are being pressed to cosponsor H. Con. Res. 260 - a resolution whose ostensible purpose is to recognize the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. 

Americans for Peace Now proudly celebrates the anniversary of Israel's founding and we support Congress in doing so.  However, given the crass exploitation of this current resolution for other purposes, this year we take the extraordinary step of urging members of Congress to refuse to support this resolution unless it is amended.