The Trump Administration announced it is freezing President Obama’s release of $221 million to the Palestinian Authority.
The funds were intended for reconstruction in Gaza and good governance programs for the Palestine Authority.
Congress approved the Palestinian funding initially in 2015 and 2016, but two lawmakers, Ed Royce, aRepublican from California and Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs , and Kay Granger, a Republican from Texas, Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations, placed holds on it in response to steps the Palestinian Authority had taken to seek membership in international organizations.
Following a question from a reporter during a press briefing about the transfer, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “[Trump] is very concerned about how taxpayer money is spent, whether it’s sent overseas and what we get for it in terms of the relationship or our support for a democracy or aid to another country for their defenses. But he’s going to be examining all aspects of the budget… He’s going to make sure that every deal, every dollar that is spent by the government is done in a way that respects the American taxpayer.”