Summary

James Risch was born in 1943 and is currently serving as the junior United States Senator from Idaho. Senator Risch’s seat is up for election in 2020.

Risch is currently in his second term, having won the 2008 Senate election and being reelected in 2014. Prior to serving in the U.S. Senate, Risch served as the Lieutenant Governor of Idaho from 2003. He became Governor of Idaho for a few months when the then-Governor Kempthorne resigned to become U.S. Secretary of the Interior. He was reelected as Lieutenant Governor in 2006 and served in this capacity until 2009 when he resigned to take the Senate seat.

Senator Risch is currently serving as the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. He is also serving on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee; the Energy and Natural Resources Committee; the Select Committee on Intelligence; and the Select Committee on Ethics.

Below is Senator Risch’s voting record and public positions on issues important to the Jewish Community 

Senator Risch opposed the Iran nuclear deal and supported the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Senator Risch supported the Taylor Force Act, which states that no American governmental funds shall be given to a Palestinian entity that financially rewards terrorists or their families. He cosponsored legislation objecting the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which claimed that Israel’s settlements have no legal validity.

Senator Risch cosponsored the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act, a legislation that supported full funding of security assistance to Israel as outlined in the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding.

Senator Risch opposes the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and cosponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act and the Combating BDS Act of 2017, two bills that aim to fight discriminatory boycotts that target Israel. In 2019, he voted for the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act which, among other things, strengthened Israel’s security and allowed a state or local government to adopt measures to divest its assets from entities that boycott Israel.

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SOURCES

Opposed the Iran nuclear deal https://www.risch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2015/7/risch-statement-on-nuclear-deal-with-iran

Voted For the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act of 2019 https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=116&session=1&vote=00016

Supported the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem https://www.risch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=E4BBCD1F-2A49-4C77-A640-322071E4460A

Cosponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/720/cosponsors

Opposed UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and supported the two-state solution https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-resolution/6/cosponsors

Cosponsored the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2019 https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/852/cosponsors

Supported the Taylor Force Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1697/cosponsors

Cosponsored the Combating BDS Act of 2017 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/170/cosponsors

Cosponsored the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2497/cosponsors