Aug 02 2017

Graham Bill To End 'Pay To Slay' Set For Foreign Relations Committee Vote Tomorrow

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has introduced an updated version of the Taylor Force Act with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee). 

The legislation cuts off funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until they end the practice of "Pay to Slay" by which the PA pays terrorists, and the surviving family of terrorists, monetary awards for killing American and Israeli citizens.  The updated legislation also spells out the steps by which payments to the PA could resume.

Taylor Force was a former U.S. Army officer who was part of a Vanderbilt University tour group visiting Israel when he was brutally stabbed and killed by a Palestinian terrorist. Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction praised the terrorist as a “heroic martyr” and the Palestinian Authority has refused to publicly condemn the terrorist attack.

Taylor’s parents and South Carolina residents, Stuart and Robbi Force, have been strong advocates for ending the practice of “Pay to Slay” and have urged Congress to pass Graham’s legislation.

“I want to thank Chairman Corker for bringing the Taylor Force Act up for consideration,” said Graham.  “This bill shines a light on the very real problem of ‘Pay to Slay.’ Taylor was an American hero who was brutally murdered at the hands of terrorists. Yet instead of condemning this horrific attack – and so many others like it – the Palestinian Authority rewards terrorists.  These rewards for terrorist attacks are inconsistent with American values. They are inconsistent with decency. And they are certainly inconsistent with peace. Simply put, you can’t be a partner in peace when you are paying people to commit acts of terror.  It is long past time to let the Palestinian Authority know that these practices are wholly unacceptable.” 
“We absolutely cannot accept a policy that rewards acts of terrorism like the one that tragically took the life of Taylor Force," said Corker. "This legislation will force the Palestinian Authority to make a choice: either face the consequences of stoking violence or end this detestable practice immediately."

The Graham-Corker legislation:

  • Cuts off funding for the Palestinian Authority until they stop "Pay to Slay" payments and repeal the laws authorizing them;
  • Calls on donor countries providing budgetary assistance to the PA to cease direct budgetary support until the PA stops all payments incentivizing terror attacks;
  • Urges the United States Ambassador to the United Nations to highlight the PA payments for acts of terrorism and urge other members nations of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly to join the United States in calling for the PA to end this payment system immediately; and
  • Urges the State Department to work to highlight the issue of Palestinian Authority “Pay to Slay” payments with other nations and outside governmental organizations in order to immediately end this horrific practice.

Funding to the PA could only resume when the Secretary of State certifies to Congress that the PA:

  • Has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against American and Israeli citizens after being fairly tried and who have been imprisoned for such acts of terrorism, including the family members of the convicted individuals;
  • Has revoked any law, decree, regulation or document authorizing or implementing a system of compensation for imprisoned individuals that uses the sentence or period of incarceration to determine the level of compensation paid; and
  • Is taking credible steps to end acts of violence against American and Israeli citizens that are perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control such as the one which killed American Taylor Force.

The committee is scheduled to amend and vote on Graham’s bill tomorrow, Thursday, August 3.