Clinton Ignores Hold, Approves Humanitarian Aid for West Bank and Gaza [View all]
OK, hereís a somewhat better story on a pretty depressing day. The chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, tried to put a hold on foreign aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. It was a manifestation of the same old AIPAC-driven politics, where the US acts punitively toward one side in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The tradition in this area is that if a US Representative puts a hold on funds, the executive branch honors it. But Hillary Clinton decided to ignore the hold, which has Ros-Lehtinen up in arms.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is allowing U.S. funds to flow to the West Bank and Gaza despite a hold by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., a rare display of executive-branch authority that angered the key lawmaker concerned about protecting her congressional oversight role.
A State Department official said that a letter was delivered on Tuesday to key members of Congress informing them of Clintonís decision to move forward with the $147 million package of the fiscal year 2011 economic support funds for the Palestinian people, despite Ros-Lehtinenís hold. Administrations generally do not disburse funding over the objections of lawmakers on relevant committees.