Biden Admin Exempted Itself From Anti-Terrorism Laws To Send Aid to Gaza. Senate Republicans Want To Strip That Authority.

Biden Admin Exempted Itself From Anti-Terrorism Laws To Send Aid to Gaza. Senate Republicans Want To Strip That Authority.

  • February 27, 2024

Adam Kredo, Free Beacon

Senate Republicans want to strip the Biden administration of its power to skirt federal anti-terrorism laws in order to pump millions in taxpayer funding into the Palestinian territories, including the war-torn Gaza Strip, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

The legislation, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and three of his Republican colleagues, is a response to a 2023 Free Beacon report that revealed the Biden administration exempted itself from anti-terrorism laws to resume funding to the Gaza Strip and West Bank, aid that was frozen under the previous administration.

State Department diplomats warned in an internal assessment at the time [in documents obtained by PPT] that “there is a high risk Hamas could potentially derive indirect, unintentional benefit from U.S. assistance to Gaza,” but the administration moved forward anyway. Cruz’s legislation—filed on Tuesday and backed by Sens. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), Bill Hagerty (R., Tenn.), and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.)—would block the Biden administration from granting itself future sanctions exemptions in order to pump aid dollars into Gaza amid the Hamas terror group’s war against Israel.

When the Biden administration first resumed American funding to the Palestinians in 2021, it petitioned the Treasury Department to issue a license allowing money to flow into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. This authorization was needed, the State Department argued in internal emails, to conduct activities “that would otherwise be prohibited by the Global Terrorist Sanctions Regulations and the Foreign Terrorist Organization Sanctions Regulations.”

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