House Introduces Bill to Cut Funding to the PA
WASHINGTON – Republican Representatives Ted Budd (R-NC) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) introduced legislation yesterday to end funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if Ramallah doesn’t “cease all financial rewards to terrorists or their families.” The GOP lawmakers were particularly incensed by the Obama Administration’s decision to release $224 million to the PA immediately before leaving office last month.
“Pausing these funds until we’re certain they aren’t being used as such seems like an obvious response to the problem,” Sandrof said in a statement. Currently, no Democrats have co-sponsored the bill and it is unclear if AIPAC will back the legislation.
H.R. 789 calls on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to certify that the PLO has ceased all financial payments to terrorists or their families. “If the Secretary of State cannot certify this, our bill would redirect that money to Israel’s Iron Dome system,” Budd said. Israel already receives the largest amount of U.S. military assistance provided to any country in history– $38 billion over 10 years.
Israel frequently signs agreements with the Palestinian Authority including a September deal over electricity. The PA maintains security cooperation with the Jewish state while foiling Hamas attacks.