WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied Republican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority.READ MORE: Appeals Court Ruling Keeps Abortion Ban In Place In Texas
GOP members of Congress had been holding up the money.
A State Department official and several congressional aides say the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning, just before Donald Trump became president.
More than $227 million in foreign affairs funding was released at the time, including $4 million for climate change programs and $1.25 million for U.N. organizations.
At least two GOP lawmakers had placed holds on the Palestinian funds. Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding.READ MORE: Amtrak Train From Fort Worth Crashes In Oklahoma, Four Hurt
The official and the aides weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.
Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), Chairwoman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement on the matter:
“I am deeply disappointed that President Obama defied congressional oversight and released $221 million to the Palestinian territories,” Congresswoman Granger said. “This was the first time the Obama Administration chose to ignore the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and released funds without approval.
“As Chairwoman, I worked to make sure that no American taxpayer dollars would fund the Palestinian Authority unless very strict conditions were met. 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.”MORE NEWS: Critical Race Theory Law Could Be Behind Latest Southlake Racism Controversy
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