Why Did Booker Vote Against Taylor Force Act?
Question on the mind of many JI readers — why did Sen. Booker, who has had long standing ties with the Jewish and pro-Israel community, vote against the Taylor Force Act?
In an exclusive statement to Jewish Insider, Sen Booker emailed us the following: “PA support for terrorist payments is plainly reprehensible and must be stopped. The path to accomplish this is highly complex, as evidenced by the Israeli government’s own reluctance to cut off sources of revenue to the PA despite their ability to do so without any help from the United States. There has been a failure to assure the Foreign Relations Committee that vital, stability-producing humanitarian programs would not end up facing cuts from this bill. I was deeply disappointed that yesterday’s committee vote was held despite there being so many important questions left unanswered about its impact on a volatile region, millions of civilians and America’s closest ally.”
“There have long been mixed signals and conflicting recommendations coming from both US and Israeli national security officials about whether the bill would achieve its desired ends without worsening the security situation. As recently as the day before the vote there was confusion among State Department officials over provisions in the bill and exactly what impact they would have on Israel’s security and the stability of the region.”
“With so many questions unanswered and the consequences so grave, I withheld my support for this version of the legislation yesterday. I’m continuing to seek answers to these questions and pursuing amendments that I offered to this legislation that will help prevent unintended humanitarian consequences and outcomes that would threaten Israel’s security. I hope these concerns are addressed quickly and well before the full Senate considers this legislation, so that this bill can receive my support.”