Last minute transfer under review.
Legal Insurrection readers will recall that during its last few hours, the Obama administration sent $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking.
Team Trump has now frozen those monies.
The Trump administration has informed the Palestinian Authority that it is freezing the transfer of $221 million which was quietly authorized by the Obama administration in its final hours on January 20, a senior Palestinian source has told The Times of Israel.
US officials conveyed to PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday that the funds were not expected to be handed over in the immediate future, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
On Tuesday, the State Department said it was reviewing the last-minute decision by former secretary of state John Kerry to send the funds to the Palestinians despite objections to the transfer by congressional Republicans.
The State Department indicated it would look at the payment and might make adjustments to ensure it comports with the Trump administration’s priorities.
…Congress had initially approved the Palestinian funding in budget years 2015 and 2016, with the US Agency for International Development sending the Palestinians $355 million in 2015.
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 the funds as the Palestinian Authority had pursued “a unilateral tract towards statehood and they were not trying to work with Israel,” said Schanzer.
Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding after funds have been allocated. “Most analysts and observers didn’t think Obama would or could do this,” said Schanzer.
But Obama did do it, and it remains to be seen whether Trump will undo it after this review.DONATE
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