Taylor Force Act Easily Passes House
The Taylor Force Act unanimously passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday, which stipulates that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would lose United States funding if it continues paying the families of terrorists.
The bill, which is named after an American who was murdered by a Palestinian in 2016 and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, states that there are exemptions for wastewater projects, child vaccine programs, East Jerusalem hospitals and has a six-year sunset clause. It was first introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO).
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) lauded the bill after its unanimous passage in the House.
“If you finance or reward terrorism, you don’t deserve a penny from the United States,” Ryan said in a statement. “The Palestinian Authority should be forced to choose between its despicable practice of paying terrorists’ salaries and receiving foreign aid funded by the American taxpayer. And until that time comes, no government that supports the murder of innocent civilians can claim to be a serious partner for peace.”
Ryan later added, “In Taylor’s memory, I look forward to the Senate passing this legislation so we can send it to the president’s desk.”
The bill is expected to pass the Senate. President Trump has not specifically stated that he would sign it, however it has been reported that he “supports its principal objective.”
Under what has been dubbed as the PA’s “pay to slay” policy, terrorists who attack Jews receive $400 per month from the PA; if they murder a Jew they receive $3,400 per month, according to JNS.org’s Stephen Flatow. Each of those aforementioned figures are increased in accordance to the length of the terrorist’s sentence. The families of dead terrorists receive $100 per month if the terrorist isn’t married; a dead terrorist’s widow receives $250 month. By contrast, the average Palestinian earns $150 per month, thereby creating a financial incentive for Palestinians to commit acts of terror.
In total, the PA has paid terrorists and their families $355 million in 2017.
The family of Force’s murderer, 22-year-old Bashar Masalha, currently receives $400 a month from the PA, which ignited the political will for the Taylor Force Act. In 2016, the U.S. provided $357 million in aid to the PA.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) tweeted out their gratitude to the House for passing the bill:
We applaud US House of Representatives for passing legislation aimed at pressuring Palestinian Authority to end the practice of payments being made to terrorists & their families. We strongly urge the Senate to follow suit and pass the Taylor Force Act. https://t.co/4BWo8Hy7uy
— ADL (@ADL_National) December 5, 2017
Others argue that the exemptions weaken the original intent of the bill to the point where it would be ineffective if signed into law.