The Senate’s Tussle Over Punishing the ICC

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is mired in a partisan feud that’s threatening to grind the panel’s business to a halt.

The dispute centers around an effort to impose sanctions on the International Criminal Court in response to its targeting of top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for potential arrest warrants.

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This is news: Sen. Jim Risch (Idaho), the committee’s top Republican, is refusing to give his consent for the panel to take up any legislation or nominations until Democrats agree to move forward on an ICC bill — either in committee or on the floor.

Republicans say Democrats aren’t engaging in a serious way on a bipartisan ICC bill and are trying to give political cover to the White House, which opposes sanctions. Republicans also point to the House’s passage of an ICC sanctions bill that dozens of Democrats supported as another reason to press the issue.

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