Obama released $221M to Palestinians in final hours
By Max Greenwood
The Obama administration sent $221 million to the Palestinian Authority on Friday, as President Obama prepared to leave the White House for the last time, The Associated Press reports.
The outgoing administration formally notified Congress of the decision just hours before President Trump was inaugurated.
Congress had initially approved the spending. But two House Republicans. Reps. Ed Royce (Calif.), who serves as the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger (Texas), who is on the powerful Appropriations Committee, put holds on the aid money because the Palestinian Authority was seeking membership in international organizations.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry notified some lawmakers about the decision to release the money on Thursday, the AP reports.
The $221 million sent to the Palestinian Authority is intended to provide humanitarian aid in ares such as Gaza and the West Bank, as well as to support political reforms there.
The Obama administration also notified lawmakers on Friday that it would release $6 million in foreign spending, with $4 million of it going to programs to fight climate change and $1.25 million to United Nations organizations.
Trump has voiced skepticism about climate change in the past, and has criticized the UN.