Posted by William A. Jacobson Monday, January 23, 2017 at 6:00pm | 1/23/2017 – 6:00pm
URL of the original posting site: http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/01/john-kerry-released-221-million-to-palestinian-authority-just-before-trumps-inauguration/
We already have seen numerous moves by the former Obama administration to extend its policy preferences into the Trump era, including $500 million sent just days before the inauguration to fund the Paris Climate Agreement.
According to reports, a similar tactic was used to evade congressional opposition to transferring funds to the Palestinian Authority after complaints about its incitement efforts, including paying monthly salaries to convicted terrorist in Israeli jail.
The Associated Press reports:
Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied Republican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking.
A State Department official and several congressional aides said the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning. The official said former Secretary of State John Kerry had informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time Thursday. The aides said written notification dated Jan. 20 was sent to Congress just hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office….
Congress had initially approved the Palestinian funding in budget years 2015 and 2016, but at least two GOP lawmakers — Ed Royce of California, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger of Texas, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee — had placed holds on it over moves the Palestinian Authority had taken to seek membership in international organizations. Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding after funds have been allocated.