A bill cutting off American funding to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to financially support terrorists and their families backed by several members of the Florida delegation is building momentum on Capitol Hill.
At the end of last week, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s, R-SC, “Taylor Force Act” on a 17-4 vote. Graham named his bill after an American Air Force veteran killed by a Palestinian terrorist. The Palestinian Authority has financially helping the family of Force’s killer. Reports noted that as much of 8 percent of the Palestinian Authority’s budget goes to help the families of terrorists.
On Friday, after the committee passed his bill, Graham offered a tip of the cap to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who chairs the committee.
“I want to thank Chairman Corker for bringing the Taylor Force Act up for consideration,” said Graham. “This bill shines a light on the very real problem of ‘pay to slay.’ Taylor was an American hero who was brutally murdered at the hands of terrorists. Yet instead of condemning this horrific attack – and so many others like it – the Palestinian Authority rewards terrorists. These rewards for terrorist attacks are inconsistent with American values. They are inconsistent with decency. And they are certainly inconsistent with peace. Simply put, you can’t be a partner in peace when you are paying people to commit acts of terror. It is long past time to let the Palestinian Authority know that these practices are wholly unacceptable.”
“We absolutely cannot accept a policy that rewards acts of terrorism like the one that tragically took the life of Taylor Force,” said Corker. “This legislation will force the Palestinian Authority to make a choice: either face the consequences of stoking violence or end this detestable practice immediately. I thank Senator Graham for his important role in this effort and look forward to this bill becoming law.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on the committee, is backing the bill. Back in March, he announced that he was co-sponsoring Graham’s proposal.
"The Taylor Force Act's strong, bipartisan support in committee sends a powerful message that the United States should hold the Palestinian Authority accountable for any payments to terrorists who engage in terrorism or violence against Israelis or Americans, or any payments to the families of terrorists,” Rubio said on Friday after the committee advanced the bill. “The Palestinian Authority's pay-for-slay program for terrorists is an outrage, and this bill will help bring an end this abhorrent practice."
Over in the House, U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Col., has brought out similar legislation and eleven Florida Republicans--U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Carlos Curbelo, Ron DeSantis, Neal Dunn, Mario Diaz-Balart, Matt Gaetz, Francis Rooney, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Dennis Ross and Dan Webster--are co-sponsoring the bill.
Buchanan weighed in on Lamborn‘s proposal last month.
“American tax dollars should never be used to reward terrorism,” Buchanan said. “The Palestinian Authority must not receive another dime until they end this horrific practice.”