In the final hours of their power on Friday morning, the Obama Administration sent $221 million to the Palestinian government, a move that had been opposed and blocked by Republican Congress members. Former Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly informed Congress on Thursday that the U.S. was going to release the funds to the Middle Eastern Authority the following day.
Congressional aides said that written notification dated January 20 was sent to lawmakers just hours before Trump took office. The Obama administration also informed Congress that in addition to the $221 million to Palestine, it was going to release $6 million for foreign affairs spending, $4 million for climate change programs, and $1.25 million in U.N. organizations.
The Obama Administration had been trying to send the money to the Middle East for some time after it was approved by Congress for budget years 2015 and 2016. However, two Republican members of Congress had put a hold on the transfer of the money because of possible nefarious actions the Palestinian Authority had taken in dealing with international organizations. The money was allocated by the U.S. Agency for International Development to be used for humanitarian aid in Gaza and the West Bank. According to Congress, it was also going to be used to support political and social reforms and help shape good governance in the future State of Palestine.