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New York--111th Congress (2009-2010)

Senator                   

S.Res.10

Dodd Letter

Boxer/Isakson Letter

S.Res. 548

Reid/McConnell Letter

Boxer/Isakson Letter

Total

Chuck Schumer (D)

-1

-1

-1

-1


-1

-1

-6

Kirsten Gillibrand (D)


-1

-1

-1


-1

-1

-5

Senate

1. S.Res.10. Title: “A resolution recognizing the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” Comment: In the midst of Israel’s brutal war and siege of the occupied Gaza Strip, which killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and injured thousands more, this resolution placed exclusive blame for Israel’s attacks on Hamas; called on Hamas but not Israel to end acts of violence; asserted falsely that Israel is facilitating humanitarian aid to Gaza when it is in fact besieging it; and deemed Israel’s acts of collective punishment and attacks on Palestinian civilians and civilian infrastructure to be self-defense. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent, 1/8/2009.

2. Dodd Letter. Comment: This AIPAC-initiated “Dear Colleague” letter to President Obama urges him to “take into account the risks” Israel will take in signing a peace agreement with the Palestinians, as if Palestinians face no risks in signing an agreement with an Israeli government that consistently violates human rights, international law, and even previous agreements it has signed. The letter is also premised on the biased notion that only Palestinians and Arabs bear responsibility for bringing about peace, and that Israel is free of any responsibility to take steps in that direction. The letter reads as if these Senators are stuck in some parallel universe where Palestinians are occupying Israel. The letter is clearly designed as a rebuke to the Obama Administration for its clear insistence that Israel end settlement building. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to President with 76 signatures, 5/18/2009.

3. Bayh/Risch Letter. Comment: This “Dear Colleague” letter urges President Obama to pressure Arab states to normalize relations with Israel prior to it ending its illegal military occupation of Palestinian territory and dismantling its apartheid polices toward Palestinians. Member states of the Arab League have rightfully agreed to normalize relations with Israel only after Palestinians have achieved their individual and national rights. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to President with 71 signatures, 8/10/2009.

4. Boxer/Isakson Letter. Comment: This AIPAC-inspired “Dear Colleague” letter attempts to exert pressure on the Obama Administration to paper over its policy differences with Israel and solve them “amicably” instead of correctly confronting it over continued settlement expansion. The letter also blames Palestinians for “a growing list of unprecedented preconditions” rather than Israel’s intransigence on illegal settlement activity for the impasse in negotiations. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to Secretary of State with 76 signatures, 3/29/10.

5. S.Res.548. Title: “A resolution to express the sense of the Senate that Israel has an undeniable right to self-defense, and to condemn the recent destabilizing actions by extremists aboard the ship Mavi Marmara.” Comment: This outrageous resolution attempts to justify Israel’s illegal attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and its illegal blockade of the occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip. It libelously refers to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla as a “violent attack and provocation by extremists” and condemns any civil society effort to break Israel’s collective punishment of Gaza Strip residents. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action:
Resolution agreed to in Senate with an amendment and an amended preamble by Voice Vote, 6/24/2010.

6. Reid/McConnell Letter. Comment: This extremely problematic “Dear Colleague” letter deems Israel blockade of the occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip—an act of collective punishment considered to be a war crime under the 4th Geneva Convention—to be “legal under international law.” It also justifies Israel’s attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, urges that organizations participating in it be put on the terrorism list, and urges the Obama Administration to prevent any form of accountability in international forums for Israel’s illegal attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to President with 87 signatures, 6/21/2010.

7. Boxer/Isakson Letter. Comment: As direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations were breaking down only weeks after their resumption, due to Israel’s refusal to extend its so-called partial ‘moratorium’ on settlements, this “Dear Colleague” letter falsely blamed Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran for derailing the talks, rather than Israel for its provocative and illegal actions. The letter also pressures the President to arm twist the Palestinians to remain at the negotiating table even as Israel continues to colonize land that supposedly will form an independent Palestinian state. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 co-sponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to President with 87 signatures, 9/27/2010.

House First Session (2009)

Representative            

Capps
Letter

H.Res.
34

H.Res.
66

H.Con.
Res.29

Olver Letter

H.Res.
130

H.Con.
Res.111

Hoyer Letter

H.Res.
867

Moran/ Inglis Letter McDermott/ Ellison Letter

2009 Total

Timothy Bishop (D-1)


-1




1


-1

-1
1


-1

Steve Israel (D-2)


-1






-1

-1



-3

Peter King (R-3)


-1


-1




-1

-1



-4

Carolyn McCarthy (D-4)


-1






-1

-1



-3

Gary Ackerman (D-5)


-1






-1

-1



-3

Gregory Meeks (D-6)


-1






-1

0



-2

Joseph Crowley (D-7)


-1






-1

-1



-3

Jerrold Nadler (D-8)


-1


-1




-1

-1



-4

Anthony Weiner (D-9)


-1


-1




-1

-1



-4

Edolphus Towns (D-10)


-1




1


-1

-1



-2

Yvette Clarke (D-11)


-1



1

1



2
1
1
5

Nydia Velázquez (D-12)


-1




1



0



0

Michael McMahon (D-13)


-1


-1



-1

-1

-1



-5

Carolyn Maloney (D-14)


-1






-1

-1



-3

Charles Rangel (D-15)


-1




1


-1

-1



-2

José Serrano (D-16)


-1







-1



-2

Eliot Engel (D-17)


-1


-1




-1

-1



-4

Nita Lowey (D-18)


-1






-1

-1



-3

John Hall (D-19)


-1






-1

-1



-3

Scott Murphy (D-20)


0







-1



-1

Paul Tonko (D-21)


-1




1


-1

-1


1

-1

Maurice Hinchey (D-22)

1

1

1


1

1



2
1
1

9

John McHugh (R-23)*


-1


-1




-1




-3

William L. Owens (D-23)*










0

Michael Arcuri (D-24)


-1






-1

-1



-3

Daniel Maffei (D-25)


-1



1

1


-1

-1



-1

Christopher John Lee (R-26)


-1






-1

-1



-3

Brian Higgins (D-27)


-1






-1

-1



-3

Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-28)


-1






-1

-1



-3

Eric Massa (R-29)


-1



1

1

-1

-1

-1


1

-1

*John McHugh resigned on September 21, 2009. Vacancy effective September 21, 2009. William L. Owens was elected November 3, 2009 in a special election. Representative-elect Owens was added to the rolls of the House upon executing the oath of office on November 6, 2009.

House Second Session (2010)

Representative            

H.Res. 1191

Hoyer/ Cantor Letter

H.Res. 1241

H.Con. Res.270

H.Con. Res.271

Kind/ Delahunt Letter

H.R. 5327

H.Res. 1391
H.R. 5501
Poe/Peters Letter
H.Res.1765
2010 Total

Overall Total

Timothy Bishop (D-1)


-1




-1


-1

-3
-4

Steve Israel (D-2)


-1




-1


-1
-1 -4
-7

Peter King (R-3)


-1
-1




-1
-2
-1
-1 -7
-11

Carolyn McCarthy (D-4)


-1




-1


-1

-3
-6

Gary Ackerman (D-5)


-2




-1
-1

-1
-1 -6
-9

Gregory Meeks (D-6)












0
-2

Joseph Crowley (D-7)


-1





-1

-1
-1 -4
-7

Jerrold Nadler (D-8)


-1







-1
-1 -3
-7

Anthony Weiner (D-9)


-1







-1
-1 -3
-7

Edolphus Towns (D-10)


-1





-1



-2
-4

Yvette Clarke (D-11)


-1









-1
4

Nydia Velázquez (D-12)


-1



1





0
0

Michael McMahon (D-13)


-1




-1
-1

-1
-1 -5
-10

Carolyn Maloney (D-14)


-1




-1
-1

-1

-4
-7

Charles Rangel (D-15)






1





1
-1

José Serrano (D-16)












0
-2

Eliot Engel (D-17)


-1





-1

-1
-1 -4
-8

Nita Lowey (D-18)


-1







-1
-1 -3
-6

John Hall (D-19)


-1




-1


-1

-3
-6

Scott Murphy (D-20)


-1



1





0
-1

Paul Tonko (D-21)


-1







-1

-2
-3

Maurice Hinchey (D-22)






1





1
10
William L. Owens (D-23)
-1



1



-1

-1
-1

Michael Arcuri (D-24)


-1







-1

-2
-5

Daniel Maffei (D-25)


-1







-1

-2
-3

Christopher John Lee (R-26)


-1
-1



-1

-1
-1

-5
-8

Brian Higgins (D-27)


-1







-1

-2
-5

Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-28)










-1

-1
-4

Eric Massa (R-29)*












0
-1

*Eric Massa resigned on March 8, 2010. Vacancy effective March 9, 2010.

House

1. Capps Letter. Comment: This letter expresses concern about the breakdown of civilian infrastructure, including electricity, medical care, water, and sewage treatment, in the Gaza Strip due to Israel’s siege. The letter also expresses support for an immediate ceasefire. Scoring: +2 sponsor, +1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to President with 24 signatures, 1/9/2009.

2. H.Res.34. Title: “Recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” Comment: In the midst of Israel’s brutal war and siege of the occupied Gaza Strip, which killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and injured thousands more, this resolution placed exclusive blame for Israel’s attacks on Hamas; called on Hamas but not Israel to end acts of violence; asserted falsely that Israel is facilitating humanitarian aid to Gaza when it is in fact besieging it; and deemed Israel’s acts of collective punishment and attacks on Palestinian civilians and civilian infrastructure to be self-defense. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor or yes vote, 0 not voting, +1 present vote, +2 no vote. Last Major Action: Passed the House 390-5, 22 present (Roll Call Vote #10), 1/9/2009.


3. H.Res.66. Title: “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives concerning the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” Comment: This resolution is refreshingly accurate for an Israel-Palestine piece of legislation. It mentions the impact of Israel’s attacks on Gaza on Palestinian civilians, notes Israel’s bombing of UN facilities, elaborates on the humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s blockade of Gaza, and cites Israel’s responsibility for the welfare of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip under international law. Scoring: +2 sponsor, +1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1/15/2009.

4. H.Con.Res.29. Title: “Expressing the sense of Congress that the United Nations should take immediate steps to improve the transparency and accountability of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in the Near East to ensure that it is not providing funding, employment, or other support to terrorists.” Comment: Couched in the seemingly benign terms of “transparency” and “accountability,” this resolution is part of a long-standing, concerted effort by a few Members of Congress who vocally oppose the right of return of Palestinian refugees to de-fund UNRWA and attempt to resettle Palestinian refugees outside the borders of their homeland. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1/28/2009.

5. Olver Letter. Comment: This letter acknowledges the acute humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and urges the United States to play a leading role in alleviating it. The letter also advocates for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip with U.S. aid and directly led to the Obama Administration’s decision to release $20 million in emergency aid for the Gaza Strip. Scoring: +2 sponsor, +1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to Secretary of State with 64 signatures, 1/28/2009.

6. H.Res.130. Title: “Expressing support for the appointment of former Senator George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, and for other purposes.” Comment: President Obama’s appointment of Senator George Mitchell was applauded by many analysts who view him as an even-handed mediator, especially compared with many previous Bush and Clinton appointments to similar positions. The resolution quotes Senator Mitchell on the resolvability of conflicts and points to his experience in successfully brokering peace in Northern Ireland. The resolution also quotes President Obama on his concern regarding the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Scoring: +2 sponsor, +1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2/4/2009.

7. H.Con.Res.111. Title: “Recognizing the 61st anniversary of the independence of the State of Israel.” Comment: Where should we start with this resolution chocked full of hyperbolic gushy sentiments about how Israel is the best thing since sliced bread? Suffice it to say that the resolution mentions not one word about how Israel ethnically cleansed and dispossessed Palestinians in 1948 to establish itself as a “Jewish State.” A “shining model of democratic values,” indeed. These types of resolutions are beginning to feel quaint as even President Obama publicly acknowledged in Cairo that “For more than 60 years they've [Palestinians] endured the pain of dislocation.  Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead.” Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Passed the House 394-0 (Roll Call Vote #230), 5/4/2009.

8. Hoyer Letter. Comments: This AIPAC-initiated “Dear Colleague” letter to President Obama urges him to “take into account the risks” Israel will take in signing a peace agreement with the Palestinians, as if Palestinians face no risks in signing an agreement with an Israeli government that consistently violates human rights, international law, and even previous agreements it has signed. The letter is also premised on the biased notion that only Palestinians and Arabs bear responsibility for bringing about peace, and that Israel is free of any responsibility to take steps in that direction. The letter reads as if these Representatives are stuck in some parallel universe where Palestinians are occupying Israel. The letter is clearly designed as a rebuke to the Obama Administration for its clear insistence that Israel end settlement building. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to President with 328 signatures, 5/28/2009.

9. H.Res.867. Title: Calling on the President and the Secretary of State to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the ‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’ in multilateral fora.” Comment: This resolution condemns the Goldstone Report as “irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy” and instructs the Obama Administration to oppose consideration or endorsement of the Goldstone Report. The resolution is replete with inaccurate information about and misleading characterizations of the Goldstone Report and undermines the commitment of the United States and the Obama Administration to the universality of human rights and the principle of holding accountable human rights violators. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor or yes vote, 0 not voting, +1 present vote, +2 no vote. Last Major Action: Passed the House 344-36, 22 present (Roll Call Vote #838), 11/3/09.

10. Moran/Inglis Letter. Comment: This “Dear Colleague” letter urges Secretary of State Clinton to pressure Israel to allow students from the occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip to attend school in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. As part of Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza, it has prevented Palestinian students from attending school in the West Bank. Scoring: +2 sponsor, +1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to the Secretary of State with 33 signatures, 12/22/2009.

11. McDermott/Ellison Letter. Comment: This “Dear Colleague” letter to President Obama draws attention to the devastating humanitarian consequences of Israel’s illegal blockade of the occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip. It terms Israel’s blockade of Gaza “de facto collective punishment,” which is a war crime under the 4th Geneva Convention. Scoring: +2 sponsor, +1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to the President with 54 signatures, 1/21/2010.

12. H.Res.1191. Title:Urging the expedient relocation of the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.” Comment: This resolution attempts to pre-judge the negotiation over the final status of Jerusalem by insisting that the United States move its embassy there. It also declares Jerusalem “the undivided capital of the State of Israel,” thereby ignoring Israel’s disregard for the UN Partition Plan arrangement for Jerusalem as a “corpus separatum” and its illegal 43-year military occupation of Palestinian East Jerusalem. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 3/18/2010.

13. Hoyer/Cantor Letter. Comment:
This AIPAC-inspired “Dear Colleague” letter attempts to exert pressure on the Obama Administration to paper over its policy differences with Israel and solve them “quietly, in trust and confidence” instead of correctly confronting it over continued settlement expansion. The letter also attempts to downplay the Obama Administration’s policy disagreements with Israel, referring to Israel’s intransigence on expanding settlements as a mere “misunderstanding”. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to Secretary of State with 334 signatures, 3/26/2010.

14. H.Res.1241. Title:
Supporting the right of Israel to defend itself against terrorists and the Israeli construction of new security fences along the border of Egypt. Comment: This resolution justifies Israel’s construction of apartheid walls/fences both in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip, even though the International Court of Justice (ICJ) deemed Israel’s wall in the West Bank to be illegal. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 4/13/2010.

15. H.Con.Res.270. Title: “Calling on the United States Government to investigate the case of Tristan Anderson, a United States citizen from Oakland, California, who was critically injured in the West Bank village of Ni'lin on March 13, 2009, and expressing sympathy to Tristan Anderson and his family, friends, and loved ones during this trying time.”
Comment: This resolution calls on the Obama Administration “to undertake a full, fair, and expeditious investigation” into Israel’s shooting of U.S. peace activist Tristan Anderson, and to work with Israel “to ensure that any incident of this kind never occurs again”. Scoring: +2 sponsor, +1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 4/28/2010.

16. H.Con.Res.271. Title: “Commemorating the 43rd anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.” Comment: This resolution audaciously “congratulates the residents of Jerusalem” on the 43 years of Israel’s illegal military occupation of East Jerusalem. Perhaps the Members of Congress who sponsored this resolution are so ignorant of reality that they don’t realize the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem would not want to be “congratulated” for being subjected to Israeli military occupation. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 4/29/2010.

17. Kind/Delahunt Letter. Comment: While the choice of language in this “Dear Colleague” letter leaves a lot to be desired from the perspective of human rights and international law, it is significant in that it quotes Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of CENTCOM, as stating that U.S. and Israeli interests do not always align and that U.S. pressure on Israel is needed to achieve peace. Scoring: +2 sponsor, +1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Sent to the President with 61 signatures, 5/27/2010.

18. H.R.5327. Title: United States-Israel Rocket and Missile Defense Cooperation and Support Act.
Comment: This resolution authorizes the expenditure of more than $200 million in additional military aid to Israel for an anti-missile defense system, despite Israel’s repeated violations of the Arms Export Control Act and misuse of U.S. weapons. Although technically a “defensive” weapon, the “Iron Dome” missile defense system would also increase Israel’s offensive capabilities, making it more cost-free for it to attack without fear of return missiles. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor or yes vote, 0 not voting, +1 present vote, +2 no vote. Last Major Action: Passed the House 410-4 (Roll Call Vote #284), 5/20/2010.

19. H.Res.1391. Title:
Congratulating Israel for its accession to membership in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Comment: Israel’s accession to membership in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was unwarranted based on its human rights record, and a major blow to international efforts to isolate and de-legitimate Israel’s military occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians. This resolution congratulates Israel for joining the OECD. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Passed the House 418-0 (Roll Call Vote #320), 5/28/2010.


20. H.R.5501. Title: America Stands with Israel Act. Comment: This resolution brashly declares support for “Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza”—an illegal act of collective punishment according to the 4th Geneva Convention. It advances spurious and debunked claims that the Gaza Freedom Flotilla organizers have ties to Al-Qaeda (would Israel really just let Al-Qaeda members go free after capturing them? C’mon.) The resolution also opposes any international accountability for Israel’s illegal attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action:
Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 6/10/2010.

21. Poe/Peters Letter. Comment: This “Dear Colleague” letter justifies Israel’s attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and its illegal blockade of the occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip. It urges President Obama “to thwart international condemnation” of Israel, providing it carte blanche to violate international law as it chooses. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 cosponsor. Last Major Action: Send to the President with 329 signatures, 6/17/2010.

22. H.Res.1765. Title: Supporting a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and condemning unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian state, and for other purposes. Comment: Rushed to the floor of the House for a vote before the text was even made public, this resolution paternalistically sets a timeline for Palestinian freedom by condemning Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood and insisting that Palestinian self-determination be granted only with Israeli consent. Scoring: -2 sponsor, -1 co-sponsor. Last Major Action: Passed the House by voice vote, 12/15/2010.



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