After delay, State Dept. begins implementing Taylor Force Act
The State Department submitted its first report to Congress regarding the criteria Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will use to determine what U.S. assistance directly benefits the Palestinian Authority, as required by the recently passed Taylor Force Act legislation, Jewish Insider has learned.
In a letter from last Thursday issued to Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Mary K. Waters wrote that the Secretary of State will use the following criteria when determining whether or not assistance for the West Bank and Gaza directly benefits the Palestinian Authority:
- Whether the Palestinian Authority is the direct recipient of the assistance.
- Whether the assistance involves payment to Palestinian Authority creditors.
- The extent of ownership or control the Palestinian Authority exerts over an entity or individual that is the primary beneficiary or end user of the assistance.
- Whether the assistance or services provided directly replace assistance or services provided by the Palestinian Authority.
The Taylor Force Act, bipartisan legislation that cuts off U.S. economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority until they cease payments to families of terrorists, requires the State Department to submit to Congress a list of the criteria no later than 15 days after its enactment. The deadline came and went on April 7, 2018.
Although the report was submitted 40 days after the law was enacted, Waters noted, “This report fulfills the reporting requirement in that provision.”
Israeli lawmakers on Monday advanced a similar bill – allowing the Israeli government to hold up money to the Palestinian Authority over its payments to convicted terrorists. The bill passed its first reading in the Knesset on Monday evening.