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Summary

Michael Bennet was born in 1964 and is currently serving as the senior United States Senator from Colorado. On February 11, 2020 he announced that he was dropping out of the presidential race. Senator Bennet’s seat will be up for election in 2022.

Bennet was appointed to the Senate seat in 2009, when Senator Ken Salazar resigned to become U.S. Secretary of the Interior. He was elected in the 2010 Senate election and reelected in 2016. Before serving in the Senate, Bennet worked as chief of staff to then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and as superintendent of the Denver Public Schools.

Senator Bennet is currently serving on the Finance Committee; Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee; and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

Below is Senator Bennet’s voting record and public positions on issues important to the Jewish community.

Senator Bennet supported the Iran nuclear deal. He supports reentering the existing nuclear agreement with Iran.

Senator Bennet supported a resolution that objected UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which claims that Israel’s settlements have no legal validity. He supports the two-state solution and believes that the right of return for Palestinians should be decided during direct negotiations. 

Senator Bennet did not support the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, expressing concern that the decision would “undermine the prospect for negotiations and risk destabilizing an already volatile region.” Yet, he later argued that he “would keep the embassy in Jerusalem, although the terms of that should have been part of the negotiated two-state solution.”

Senator Bennet 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. He 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. Senator Bennet has stated that the U.S. should maintain its current level of security aid to Israel. When asked in October 2019 whether he supported conditioning aid to pressure Israel to stop its settlements, Senator Bennnet said he did not endorse using security aid as leverage.

Senator Bennet is a cosponsor of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2019, which aims to provide for the consideration of a definition of anti-Semitism for the enforcement of Federal antidiscrimination laws concerning education programs or activities.  

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SOURCES

Supported the Iran nuclear deal http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site36/2015/0904/20150904_095216_Bennet-statement-on-Iran-Nuclear-Agreement-9-4-15.pdf

Supports reentering the Iran nuclear deal https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/policy-2020/foreign-policy/iran-nuclear-deal/

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

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

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 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

Supports current level of U.S. security aid to Israel https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/politics/2020-democrats-israel-foreign-policy.html

Opposed to conditioning US security aid to Israel https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-military-aid-to-israel-becomes-new-battleground-for-2020-democratic-cadndidates-1.8058113

Did not support the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem https://www.bennet.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/12/bennet-statement-on-president-rsquo-s-jerusalem-announcement 

Would keep the U.S. embasssy in Jerusalem https://www.jns.org/bennet-pledges-to-keep-us-embassy-in-jerusalem-dodges-question-on-golan-heights/

Cosponsored Senate Resolution 120 that opposes the delegitimization of Israel https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-resolution/120

Right of Return for Palestinians to be decided during direct negotiations https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/politics/2020-democrats-israel-foreign-policy.html