(JNS.org) The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that it is reviewing the $221 million that former President Barack Obama released to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the waning hours of his administration last Friday.
The State Department said it might make adjustments to the payment to ensure that it adheres to the new Trump administration’s priorities, the Associated Press reported.
While Congress initially approved the funding for the Palestinians for 2015 and 2016, two lawmakers—U.S. Reps. Ed Royce (R-Ca.) and Kay Granger (R-Texas)—had held up the funds over unilateral moves by the PA to join international organizations. While the congressional hold is not legally binding, it is generally respected.
Granger said in a statement Tuesday that she was “deeply disappointed that President Obama defied congressional oversight and released $221 million to the Palestinian territories.”
“I worked to make sure that no American taxpayer dollars would fund the Palestinian Authority unless very strict conditions were met,” said Granger. “While none of these funds will go to the Palestinian Authority because of those conditions, they will go to programs in the Palestinian territories that were still under review by Congress. The Obama administration’s decision to release these funds was inappropriate.”