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Congress & the Middle East: The Taylor Force Act

The Palestinian Authority financially rewards terrorists who kill Americans and Jews, but Palestinians are the largest per-capita recipients of U.S. foreign aid. Members of Congress questioned whether America should continue to essentially subsidize Palestinian terror.

During the Obama era, U.S. payments to the Palestinians averaged around $400 million per year, including $363.6 million in 2016. In the final week of the Obama Administration, Secretary of State John Kerry authorized a $221 million transfer to the Palestinian Authority. Although the funds were subsequently frozen by the Trump Administration, many Republicans considered the money an indefensible support of an evil regime.

The Taylor Force Act, labelled H.R. 1164 in the House and S. 474 in the Senate, was introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to stop such payments until Palestinian terrorists and their families are no longer paid. The legislation is named after Taylor Force, a graduate of West Point and a U.S. Army veteran of battles in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was murdered during a study trip with his fellow MBA students from Vanderbilt University when he was stabbed along with 11 other people in Jaffa by a Palestinian terrorist in March 2016.

The act, which had overwhelming bipartisan support, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on December 5, 2017, and was signed into law three months later as part of a $1.3 billion spending measure approved by the House and Senate. The final law includes three exceptions, allowing for U.S. funding for Palestinian water projects, childhood vaccination programs and East Jerusalem hospitals. To read the full text of the act, please click here.  

Source: GovTrack.