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The Strengthening America’s Security
in the Middle East Act


The Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act would institute several measures related to that region, including:

  • Reauthorize a cooperation agreement the U.S. struck with Jordan in 2015: a three-year deal to streamline defense sales, secure the country’s borders with Iraq and Syria, and fight ISIS.
  • Authorizing sanctions against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria unless several conditions are met — conditions which are unlikely to be met, such as releasing political prisoners and no longer targeting civilian populations.
  • Extending an existing loan guarantee program with Israel through 2023.
  • Incorporating the Israel Anti-Boycott Act and the Combating BDS Act. The former would make it illegal under federal statute to boycott Israel and the latter would grant federal protection to state and local governments that refuse to invest in or contract with companies which boycott Israel.
  • Authorizing security assistance to Israel over a 10-year period pursuant to the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding.

The Senate passed S.1 on February 5, 2019, by a vote of 77-23. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucy was the sole Republicans to vote against the bill. Twenty-five Democrats voted for the bill and the following 22 voted no:

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-PA)

Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE)

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)

Sen. Bernard Sanders (D-VT)

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

YEAs ---77
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blackburn (R-TN)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Braun (R-IN)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Capito (R-WV)
Cardin (D-MD)
Casey (D-PA)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Cotton (R-AR)
Cramer (R-ND)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Duckworth (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hassan (D-NH)
Hawley (R-MO)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Jones (D-AL)
Kennedy (R-LA)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McConnell (R-KY)
McSally (R-AZ)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Perdue (R-GA)
Peters (D-MI)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Romney (R-UT)
Rosen (D-NV)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Schumer (D-NY)
Scott (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Sinema (D-AZ)
Smith (D-MN)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Warner (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wyden (D-OR)
Young (R-IN)
NAYs ---23
Baldwin (D-WI)
Booker (D-NJ)
Brown (D-OH)
Carper (D-DE)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Harris (D-CA)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Markey (D-MA)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murphy (D-CT)
Paul (R-KY)
Reed (D-RI)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Udall (D-NM)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Warren (D-MA)


 Sources: Eric Cortellessa, “Senate advances anti-BDS bills as Congress resumes work after shutdown,” Times of Israel, (January 29, 2019);
Catie Edmondson, “Senate Passes Bill That Rebukes Trump and Opposes Israel Boycott,” New York Times, (February 5, 2019).