Earlier this year, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced legislation (H.R. 397) to establish a Pension Rehabilitation Administration within the department of Treasury to allow certain multiemployer defined pension plans to receive sponsored loans. In order to receive the loan, an existing plan must be in a critical or declining status.
While this may seem minor and pretty low on the importance scale, the real “cause for pause” here occurred during the Floor discussion when roughly ten minutes of debate resulted in Rep. David Roe (R-TN) requesting the following be added to the bill:
“Pension plans will not knowingly engage in a commerce-related or investment-related boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity intended to undermine the existence of, penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with Israel.”
In a surprising move, all four Orange County Democrat Representative voted “No”.
Rep. Harley Rouda (CD-48), Rep. Katie Porter (CD-45), Rep. Gil Cisneros (CD-39) and Rep. Mike Levin (CD-49) voted to remove protections for Israel. Looks like the Democrat leadership in Orange County are perfectly fine with providing government assistance for pension plans who knowingly use that money to damage our allied countries. Particularly, our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel.
It’s no secret, several freshmen Congressional Democrats, including Reps. Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez, Rshida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, have found themselves in hot water recently for what many have called anti-Semitic remarks against Israel. However, this vote tells a much bigger story for Californians. Orange County Democrat Representatives are following the anti-Israel suit.
In recent SoCal Daily Pulse articles we’ve covered the hypocrisy of local Representatives who either claim to bi-partisan but end up walking the party line or who turn their backs on campaign promises. So, it’s shouldn’t be too much of a surprise the Orange County’s Representatives are now adding another layer of duplicity by touting their support of the Jewish community during the political season, but then vote to remove important protections that impact the economic stability of an entire country.
The vote to remove protections for Israel are a direct result of the recent push by Ocascio-Cortez, Rlaib, and Omar to support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. While they may say it’s to support peace and oppose the marginalization of the Palestinians, many believe their support for the BDS movement is about delegitimizing Israel and making the Jewish state a pariah to the rest of the world.
Recently, the House of Representative overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan resolution opposing the BDS movement. But Rep. Ocascio-Cortez wouldn’t let it go. Last week, she agreed Israel is “criminal” and the Palestinians have no other choice but to “riot” against the Jewish state. She went on to say, “Jewish people have been persecuted throughout all of human history, but I don’t think that by marginalizing Palestinians, you create safety.”
Based on last week’s vote and Rep. Ocascio-Cortez’s recent comments, it’s unclear if the Democratic Party will continue to support the anti-Israel sentiments of their Freshmen Congressional members. But, it looks like Orange County’s Representatives will continue to support the BDS anti-Israel movement in the meantime.