S.1 passes Senate, moves to the House

The Senate votes to limit free speech

February 5, 2019

Earlier today, the Senate voted in favor of S.1, the “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act.” S.1, which we recently highlighted, would effectively appropriate government funds toward Israel’s security and defense programs and unconstitutionally encourage states to penalize participation in BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) activities, a right protected by the First Amendment. Senator Mitch McConnell has attempted to submit the bill for a vote three times in the last three weeks, all of which failed.

While we are disappointed in the Senate’s decision, we were appreciative of the 23 Senators who offered principled support for the First Amendment by opposing this bill. The Senate’s previous and persistent rejection of S.1 sent the message that they were opposed to discussing bills that limit the free speech of U.S. citizens. Its passage today is a stark reminder that other interests may nevertheless precede those of ordinary Americans and that oftentimes those interests demand address from organizations outside the legislative body.

There’s still time to block this bill from becoming law! Take a minute to contact your elected officials and tell them you value your right to free speech and oppose S.1.



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