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The Biden Administration Is Violating U.S. Law Under Taylor Force Act


Wesley Smith

October 21, 2022

6 min read




The presidential Oath of Office commits every President of the United States to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”  Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution delineates part of the President’s solemn duty to “take care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”  The idea is not only that no one is above the law, but that the leader of the United States must do all in his or her power to see that the laws are enforced.  Our nation is built upon the concept of three co-equal branches of government. Congress is charged with making the laws and the Chief Executive is duty bound to ensure the laws are followed.

The Taylor Force Act was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law in 2018.  It was named after Taylor Force, a U.S. citizen and West Point graduate who was killed while visiting Israel by a Palestinian terrorist.  He was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University at the time of his murder.

The act prohibits economic aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) unless the PA, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, or any successor or affiliated organizations stop paying people who target U.S. and Israeli citizens.  It addresses the so-called “pay-to-slay” program, a Palestinian Authority practice that pays a stipend to any Palestinian who attacks someone from Israel and the United States.  Further, this Palestinian program will pay permanent cash benefits to the family of any Palestinian who dies in the act of killing, or attempting to kill, anyone from Israel or the U.S.

The law also requires the Palestinian officials to take steps to end violence and to publicly condemn anyone who tries to kill an Israeli or a U.S. citizen, and to fully investigate such a crime when it occurs.  The law is clear and fair.  Exceptions to the law are included if the money goes to vaccinate children, wastewater projects, or to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network.  In other words, the Taylor Force Act is designed to stop violence and terrorism while also allowing certain humanitarian benefits to still be available to Palestinians.

The Taylor Force Act could not be clearer.  With the three exceptions above, no U.S. aid is allowed to go to any Palestinian entity for any reason—until and unless the Palestinian Authority stops paying people who try to kill innocent people from Israel or the U.S.  No U.S. taxpayer dollars are supposed to go to any official Palestinian agencies for any reason.  U.S. funds also cannot be filtered or laundered through other agencies in order to circumvent the law.

The Palestinian Authority is adamant.  They have stated they will not stop rewarding people who try to kill people from the U.S. and Israel.  The pay-to-slay program continues to this day.  Following passage of the Taylor Force Act, all financial aid to the Palestinian Authority stopped.

Almost immediately after becoming President, Biden restored financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.  In clear violation of the law he swore to uphold and the Constitution whose provisions he vowed to defend, President Joe Biden is giving vast amounts of U.S. taxpayer dollars to a group of people who continue to use those dollars to reward people who kill his own citizens and the citizens of our ally in the Middle East.  Our President and his Administration is literally breaking federal law.

Based on the White House official website and the website of the U.S. State Department, here is a list of the money and the causes which the Biden Administration is financially supporting in clear violation of the laws of the United States:

  • The U.S. is giving $20.5 million to the Palestinians through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • For general economic assistance, the Biden Administration gave $75 million.
  • For food assistance, there has been a $15 million grant.
  • As ironic as it seems, the Biden State Department gives $45 million for “security” and to help the Palestinian Authority establish the “rule of law.”
  • In July 2022, President Biden proudly announced an additional $316 million would be sent to the Palestinian Authority.
  • Through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the Biden Administration gave an additional $417 million.
  • Finally, the State Department announced it was giving $100 million to the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA) for the first two years of a five-year commitment by the U.S. to strengthen people-to-people engagement between Palestinians and Israelis to create conditions for peace.  (Here is a thought:  How about the Palestinian Authority quit rewarding those who kill Israelis, as a condition for peace?)

The above list totals $988,500,000—almost $1 billion. Palestinian leaders are praising this new relationship with the United States, as Biden’s predecessor had cut off the cash flow as required by the Taylor Force Act. 

The acts of terrorism against innocent people in Israel have not stopped.  The Palestinian Authority has not once condemned recent attacks on Israeli citizens and their pay-to-slaypolicy is still in place.  Oddly enough, the State Department website referenced above notes that Palestinian leaders have recently made statements that support violence and official Palestinian social media sites routinely do this.  But the Department of State continues to give them financial aid—in clear violation of the law.  The Biden Administration is not even attempting to hide the fact that they are breaking the law.

Meanwhile, as my colleague Shaheryar Gill points out on this website, Israel continues to be the most maligned nation at the U.N.  The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report to the U.N. Human Rights Council is upcoming at the United Nations.  Each year there are more resolutions against Israel than all other countries combined at the U.N.  Yet Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.  They have an independent judiciary.  All people, including Arab minorities, have full and equal civil rights.  Approximately two-thirds of Arab citizens in Israel voted in the last election.  Arab politicians hold 15 seats in the Knesset, the official legislative body. Arabs serve in the cabinet and several Arabs have sat on the Supreme Court in Israel, including Arab women.  Israel has never been the aggressor in any war; they only fight in defense of their own nation.  Fights against terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are always in response to violent attacks by those terrorist organizations against the people of Israel.  Thus far, every attempt by Israel to establish a lasting peace with the Palestinians—including a two-state solution—has been rebuffed by Palestinian leaders.  The violence by Palestinians against the Jewish state, its people, and the people of the United States dates back to 1948 and has never completely stopped.

No matter how President Biden feels about the Palestinians, he must obey the laws of the United States.  It is a betrayal of his oath and of the American people if he breaks the law and there are no consequences.  We must demand that the White House and the State Department respect the Taylor Force Act and stop financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and related agencies.

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