US Senate panel to vote on Taylor Force Act

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August 2, 2017 20:39
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WASHINGTON – The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on Thursday morning to proceed with the Taylor Force Act, after its leadership made significant revisions to the legislation in consultation with the Trump administration, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The bill – which threatens to cut aid to the PA should it continue with its program of paying staying stipends to Palestinians convicted of terrorist acts by Israel, and to the families of slain terrorists – was originally drafted exclusively by Republican lawmakers. But its language has been amended in an effort to broaden support and provide the executive branch with flexibility in punishing the PA.

A White House official told The Jerusalem Post last month that President Donald Trump agrees with the legislation in principle: “The administration agrees with the high-level goals of the Taylor Force Act,” the official said. A senior staffer for the committee chairman, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), said Trump officials had provided guidance for the bill throughout the markup phase, the process of amending the bill.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee appeared to endorse the legislation on Wednesday, encouraging committee members on Twitter to vote “yes.” Once it passes committee, the legislation will be considered by the full Senate.

A source familiar with the revised legislation says that more Democratic support is expected from the committee beyond Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, currently the only Democratic co-sponsor.

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