House Unanimously Passes Taylor Force Act. No More Funding The PA's 'Pay To Slay'

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Taylor Force Act, which would restrict U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it stops subsidizing terrorists through “pay to slay” policies.

The original bill was summarized by this way:

(it) prohibits certain assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza unless the Department of State certifies that the Palestinian Authority is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the March 2016 attack that killed former Army officer Taylor Force; is publicly condemning such acts of violence and is investigating, or cooperating in investigations of, such acts; and has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been convicted and imprisoned for such acts, to any individual who died committing such acts, and to family members of such an individual.

The bill was authored by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY); it was unanimously passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on November 15.

House Speaker Paul Ryan released this statement:

This bill is pretty simple: If you finance or reward terrorism, you don’t deserve a penny from the United States. The Palestinian Authority should be forced to choose between its despicable practice of paying terrorists' salaries and receiving foreign aid funded by the American taxpayer. And until that time comes, no government that supports the murder of innocent civilians can claim to be a serious partner for peace. I appreciate Chairman Royce, Congressman Lamborn, and all members on both sides of the aisle for their bipartisan efforts on this issue. In Taylor's memory, I look forward to the Senate passing this legislation so we can send it to the president's desk.

There is one glitch amidst the justifiable pride the House has taken in addressing the PA’s brazen policy of rewarding murderers; there is a “sunset clause” in the House version of the bill which would require the act to be renewed in six years time. Noah Pollak, Executive Director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, said that the sunset clause “has no upside, and contains a small but real downside risk of Congress failing to re-pass the bill in six years. The sunset provision should be removed when the two bills (House and Senate’s) are reconciled.”

Taylor Force was a 29-year-old former U.S. Army Officer and Vanderbilt University student who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist named Bashar Massalha on March 8, 2016. An Eagle Scout, he had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was the first American to be killed in Israel since Ezra Schwartz, 18, was shot dead while delivering food packages to soldiers.

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