US House Passes Taylor Force Act to Cut Funding Over Terror Payments

Taylor Force

The bill, named after an American who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Israel a year ago, is said to be part of a broader effort by the Trump administration and Congress to halt longstanding US aid programs that have supported terrorists in the Middle East. "In his memory, the House has passed severe restrictions on financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, funding terrorism, while the majority of its people subsist in poverty", said Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D.

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, said the program "incentivizes terrorism".

The committee's top Democrat, Representative Eliot Engel of NY, described the payments for the families without a source of income as "downright disgusting" and undermine the potential for a two-state solution.

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The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved legislation that would cut off USA taxpayer aid to the de facto Palestinian government if it continues to aid terrorists. Taylor was an Eagle Scout, West Point graduate, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, and American citizen. He was in Israel as part of a Vanderbilt University trip.

Palestinian officials claim the payments are meant for welfare, but this claim has been debunked. Noting that a similar announcement by Russian President Putin passed without a whimper, many in the pro-Israel community expressed elation while asserting that there is nothing untoward or detrimental to the peace process, and that in fact, "a dose of reality should be therapeutic for the peace process". Israel and the USA, including the Trump administration, characterize the program as immoral and an incentive for violence against Israeli civilians.

The PA is also required to revoke any laws or regulations authorizing the payments to terrorists or their families and must publicly condemn the acts of violence, according to the bill. The bill must now pass the full Senate, which is expected to vote on it this month, when the upper chamber votes on a foreign operations bill it was packaged into last September.

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