Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaking with the media at the Capitol building, Jan. 31, 2017. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images.

Sen. Charles Schumer joins sponsors of bill cutting payments to Palestinian Authority


Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer added his name as a co-sponsor of a bill that would substantially cut U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority as long as it maintained payments to the Palestinians killed in or jailed for attacks on Israelis, all but assuring it becoming law.

“I am a proud co-sponsor of the Taylor Force Act because it aims to put an end to this disturbing practice, which only perpetuates the cycle of violence and undercuts the drive to peace,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement Friday.

Schumer’s co-sponsorship, a rare move for the leader of a party in the Senate, ensures that Democrats will not use parliamentary maneuvers to block the act. A similar bill in the U.S. House of Representatives is also likely to pass.

The Taylor Force Act, named for an American who was stabbed to death in a 2016 terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, was approved a day earlier by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a 17-4 vote. It had bipartisan support after being softened to attract backing from Democrats as well as centrist pro-Israel groups.

Instead of broadly cutting all assistance to the Palestinian areas, the measure would withhold assistance that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority and its programs unless the payments end. Humanitarian assistance would be left in place.