Would create ambassador position to combat anti-SemitismSmith anti-Semitism bill headed to President’s desk
Today, at the very last legislative session of the 116th Congress, the House of Representatives passed legislation authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) that would elevate the State Department’s Anti-Semitism Special Envoy position—first created by Smith’s legislative provisions in 2004—to an Ambassadorship, giving more clout to address the alarming rise in anti-Semitism worldwide. As the Senate has already approved the amended legislation, the bill now heads to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.
Under the bill the Special Envoy position:
· Would be elevated to the rank of Ambassador at the State Department and report directly to the Secretary of State;
· Would be the primary advisor to the U.S. government in monitoring and combating anti-Semitism;
· Would not be saddled with duties irrelevant to combating anti-Semitism, or “double-hatted”;
· Must be filled (if vacant) by requiring the President to nominate a Special Envoy within 90 days of the bill becoming law and not later than 120 days after the position becomes vacant.
“I would like to thank my House colleagues, especially Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL), for working with leadership in both parties to pass this bill. I also would like to thank Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jackie Rosen (D-NV) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-FL), along with their staffs, for their hard work in securing passage on the Senate side. I would also like to acknowledge and thank Special Envoy Elan Carr for his tremendous contribution in fighting anti-Semitism. And finally, I want to thank the many wonderful Jewish groups who fought hard for this legislation.”
The House voted overwhelmingly to pass Smith’s H.R. 221 in 2019. In the previous 115th Congress, Smith introduced identical legislation, H.R. 1911, which passed the House in 2018, but stalled in the Senate. Smith’s bill is endorsed by numerous organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the Jewish Federations of North America.