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Friday, August 4, 2017

Senate Panel Approves Cut Palestinian Funding over Terrorist Salaries

WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill Thursday to cut US funding to the Palestinian Authority if it does not stop paying salaries to terrorists and their families.
The Taylor Force Act, named after a former US army officer who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian assailant while visiting Tel Aviv in March 2016, will now advance to entire Senate for review.
Passed by a vote of 17-4, the legislation received bipartisan support. Every Republican member of the committee supported the measure, as well as several Democrats, including Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the panel’s ranking member, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a J Street darling.
 
The United States currently gives the PA nearly $500 million in annual aid. The legislation would allow only the portion designated for security assistance — roughly $60 million — to remain in place.
One amendment was added during the markup session that helped attract the former vice presidential candidate’s backing, which was to establish an escrow fund for the aid that would be cut. The language requires that this escrow period last one year.
Democrats who voted against the motion included Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon. READ MORE