Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied Republican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking.
A State Department official and several congressional aides said the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning. The official said former Secretary of State John Kerry had informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time Thursday. The aides said written notification dated Jan. 20 was sent to Congress just hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office.
In addition to the $221 million for the Palestinians, the Obama administration also told Congress on Friday it was going ahead with the release of another $6 million in foreign affairs spending, including $4 million for climate change programs and $1.25 million for U.N. organizations, the congressional aides said. The aides and the State Department official weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.
This is the cheap, self-centered arrogance that came to symbolize Barack Obama and everyone in his administration. He had ample opportunity over the past year to release these funds but he didn’t take it because he rarely had the guts to do anything that was going to get him criticism that he couldn’t snark his way out of. But he waited, in a calculated and deliberate insult to the incoming Administration and the Congress, until the last hours of his misrule to send a sign of his contempt.
Can the incoming Administration stop the disbursement? I don’t know. But if they can, they should.
Editor’s Note: I changed the original title of this post due to language. Thank you. – Caleb