Letter to Antony Blinken, Secretary of State - Reps. Lauren Boebert and Doug Lamborn Lead Congressional Oversight Over Biden's Funding of Palestinian Terrorists


Dear Secretary Blinken,

The Taylor Force Act limits U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority made under chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (relating to the Economic Support Fund) and was signed into law to counter financial incentives being offered to Palestinian terrorists. A non-public State Department report was released last month indicating that the Palestinian Authority "continued [to provide] payments to Palestinian prisoners who had committed acts of terrorism, as well as the families of so-called "martyrs' who died while committing acts of terrorism."

We are concerned about potential violations of the spirit, if not the letter, of the Taylor Force Act. As of July, this Administration has provided half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding to the Palestinian Authority, and the White House recently announced an additional contribution of $316 million. In offering hundreds of millions of dollars for the purpose of economic assistance, we are concerned that these funds are tragically enabling the Palestinian Authority's payments to terrorists and the families of terrorists who kill innocent Americans and people of Jewish descent -- also commonly referred to as "pay-to-slay." Administrations across the political spectrum have routinely and loudly condemned this practice; unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority has nevertheless refused to put a permanent end to pay-to-slay.

In furtherance of our Congressional oversight responsibilities, we request the answer to the following questions by COB November 7, 2022.

1). Is this Administration providing support for the Palestinian Authority through the Economic Support Fund (ESF)? Which other accounts is the Administration utilizing to provide financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority? Does the State Department agree that continuing to provide economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority -- in light of this report's findings -- contradict both the spirit and letter of the Taylor Force Act? Given this nonpublic report, how are you able to certify that the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) "are taking credible steps to end acts of violence against Israeli citizens and United States citizens that are perpetrated or materially assisted by individuals under their jurisdictional control?"

2). Is the Administration prepared to publicly release, to the greatest extent possible, the State Department report cited above? Can the State Department commit to working with the Congress to publicly release this report in the following 60 days?

3). For the purposes of providing economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority, what definition of the word "refugee" is the Administration employing? Is it the same definition used by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)?

4). Does the Administration have any figures on the number of terrorists or families of terrorists that have received payments from the Palestinian Authority for killing innocent Americans and people of Jewish descent since March 8, 2016?

We thank you in advance for your cooperation and look forward to your responses.