According to a State Department official and several congressional aides, former President Barack Obama’s departing administration formally notified Congress of the move on the morning of Jan. 20, just hours before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Associated Press reported. Former Secretary of State John Kerry had also informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before leaving State Department headquarters for the final time Jan. 19.
While Congress initially approved the funding for the Palestinians for 2015 and 2016, at least two lawmakers—U.S. Reps. Ed Royce (R-Ca.) and Kay Granger (R-Texas)—had held up the funding over unilateral moves by the PA to join international organizations. While the congressional hold is not legally binding, it is generally respected, according to the Associated Press.