New Jerusalem bill circulating House

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Top Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are circulating a bill that would strip the president of his power to waive a law requiring him to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

The bill, launched March 10 and sponsored by Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House’s Europe Subcommittee, is also backed by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), the chairman of the House Middle East Subcommittee — all but guaranteeing its passage in the Foreign Affairs Committee and referral to the full House.

President Obama, like his predecessors Bush and Clinton, has consistently invoked the national security waiver in the 1995 law that first required such a move. A law removing such a waiver likely would be ignored by the White House as unconstitutionally challenging the president’s executive prerogative in setting foreign policy.

Thus far the bill has 10 Republican sponsors and two Democrats, including Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).

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