Senate GOP's 1st bill on Israel boycotts divides Democrats

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Republicans' first bill of the new Congress aims to insert the legislative branch into President Donald Trump's Middle East policy. But it also tries to drive a wedge between centrist and liberal Democrats over attitudes toward Israel.

The bipartisan package coming up for a vote Tuesday initially drew widespread support. It includes measures supporting Israel and Jordan and slapping sanctions on Syrians involved in war crimes. But Democrats are split over the addition of the "Combatting BDS Act," which seeks to counter the global Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement against Israel over its treatment of Palestinians and the settlements.

For now, the package will almost certainly stall. Democrats say they will block it until the government shutdown ends.