WASHINGTON (JTA) — Three Republican senators have introduced a bill that would force the president to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
The bill introduced Tuesday by Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Dean Heller of Nevada and Ted Cruz of Texas would remove the presidential waiver from the 1995 law passed by Congress recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and mandating the move from Tel Aviv.
Successive presidents have exercised the waiver every six months, most recently President Barack Obama in December. They cite national security reasons over concerns that a move would lead to Islamist and Arab nationalist attacks on Americans and their allies in the region.
The bill would slash in half the funds that Congress disburses to the State Department for building, securing and maintaining embassies until the embassy opens in Jerusalem.
President-elect Donald Trump has said he would move the embassy to Jerusalem, but his transition team said declaring a timeline for a move would be inappropriate until Trump becomes president on Jan. 20.
Rubio and Cruz lost to Trump in the Republican presidential primaries.