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If Congress wants to block funds for the Palestinian Authority, it should just defund it, not rely on holds

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By Natalia Castro at NetRight Daily and Americans for Limited Government

In his last hours in office former President Barack Obama sent $221 million to the Palestinian Authority, notifying Congress of the decision just hours before the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Jan. 20. While Republicans have expressed outrage over the decision, it is exactly what they get when they trust a president who has proved himself untrustworthy.

Because, this money did not come out of nowhere, in fact Congress had already approved it and relied on a trusting tradition of Congressional holds with the executive branch to prevent its use.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) of Dec. 2016 explains, “Congressional holds on foreign aid are not legally binding on the executive branch. However, since the late 1970s/early 1980s, successive Administrations have generally deferred to holds placed by Members of pertinent committees. This is part of a process by which the executive branch consults with Congress to provide it with information or otherwise address committees’ concerns prior to obligating funds subject to a hold.”

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