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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Sen. Lindsey Graham. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close ally of President Trump, said on Tuesday in a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) that he plans to talk to Trump and urge him to base the White House's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan on a two-state solution.

Why it matters: Although Trump said publicly last September that he supports a two-state solution, it is unclear if the U.S. peace plan will include this principle. The administration's support of settlements in the West Bank is likely to make a two-state solution far more difficult.

The big picture: Graham and Van Hollen arrived in Israel as part of their work on a draft Senate resolution that will support a two-state solution. The Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., has been lobbying both senators to drop the term "two-state solution" from the text, but they have refused.

  • Graham and Van Hollen met on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and on Tuesday with Palestinian Liberation Organization official Saeb Erekat.
  • At the joint press conference, both senators said they do not see a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians coming to fruition in the near future due to domestic political problems on both sides. But they stressed that they want the U.S. to embrace a policy that preserves the ability to implement a two-state solution in the future.
  • Graham and Van Hollen emphasized that eliminating hope for a two-state solution will weaken the Palestinian Authority and strengthen Hamas.

What they're saying:

"I want everybody to understand there is no one-state solution. I will not invest a dime in a situation that results in one state. It is a bad deal for America. If you believe in a democratic Jewish state, it is lost over time from the demographics of merging the two peoples. ... If you absorb all the Palestinians and they can vote, the Jewish states gets eroded and if you absorb all the Palestinians and they can't vote, that's South Africa and it's not going to happen."
— Graham said at Tuesday's press conference

Van Hollen added: "We think it is important to send a signal to the Palestinians who want to live in peace with Israel that there is a road to getting there. We want to keep alive the possibility for the two-state solution."

Go deeper: Scoop: Israel works to stop Senate resolution on two-state solution

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.

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