Defiance Reviewed

The State Department announced Tuesday that it will review the last-minute decision by former Secretary of State John Kerry to send $221 million to the Palestinians late last week over the objections of congressional Republicans.

The department said it would look at the payment and might make adjustments to ensure it comports with the Trump administration’s priorities.

Kerry formally notified Congress that State would release the money Friday morning, just hours before President Trump took the oath of office.

Congress had initially approved the Palestinian funding in budget years 2015 and 2016, but at least two GOP lawmakers — Ed Royce of California, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger of Texas, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee — had placed holds on it over moves the Palestinian Authority had taken to seek membership in international organizations. Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding after funds have been allocated.

Granger released a statement Tuesday saying, “I am deeply disappointed that President Obama defied congressional oversight and released $221 million to the Palestinian territories.”

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