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Senate rebuffs White House request to water down Palestinian aid cuts

The US Senate wants to beef up legislation cutting aid to the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the House passed a watered-down version last year at the insistence of President Donald Trump’s peace envoy.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) speaks with reporters as he walks from the Senate floor between votes on procedural measures leading up to potential tax overhaul legislation at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RC1657C8AC00

The US Senate is moving forward with deep cuts to Palestinian aid, Al-Monitor has learned, overruling the White House and House lawmakers and potentially jeopardizing bipartisan support for the bill.

The chamber is expected to vote shortly on legislation slashing economic assistance to the West Bank and Gaza Strip unless the Palestinian Authority (PA) stops providing stipends to prisoners whom Israel has convicted of terrorism, as well as their families. The latest version of the Taylor Force Act, obtained by Al-Monitor, would undo House-passed exemptions for wastewater projects and childhood vaccinations and remove a clause ending the cuts after 2023.

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