House Passes Taylor Force ActPress Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1164, the Taylor Force Act. The bill, named in honor of an American veteran killed in a terrorist attack in Israel, restricts U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority unless it stops subsidizing terrorists through pay to slay policies.
On the House floor prior to the vote, Chairman Royce delivered the following remarks (as prepared for delivery):
“Today we consider the Taylor Force Act, bipartisan legislation honoring a courageous and patriotic young American, Taylor Force.
Taylor was an Eagle Scout and a West Point graduate who served his country with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan before enrolling in Vanderbilt’s MBA program. He was a young man with big dreams and loads of potential. Then, Taylor’s life was tragically cut short at the age of 28 when he was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist while on a business school trip to Israel.
I had the honor of meeting again with Taylor’s parents, Stuart and Robbie, who are on Capitol Hill today. They have worked so hard to make this bill a legacy for their son, to ensure that no other family has to experience what they have experienced. They have been so generous with their time, their spirit, and their story. We are grateful for all of their efforts, and we wish them comfort as they continue to mourn the heartbreaking loss of their son.
We need to be clear about responsibility for this vicious attack. The Palestinian Authority gives salaries to Palestinians who attack innocent people like Taylor. If the attacker dies, their family is compensated.
Yes, it is Palestinian law to reward Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails with a monthly paycheck. The Palestinian leadership also pays the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. It goes without saying that these policies clearly incentivize terrorism.
In fact, this perverse pay-to-slay system uses a sliding scale: the longer the jail sentence, the greater the reward. The highest payments go to those serving life sentences – to those who prove most brutal.
This system is a disgrace. It is also the result of an abiding climate of hatred Palestinians leaders continue to foster toward Jews and Israelis.
As one witness told our Committee, ‘”Incitement” is the term we usually use, but hatred is what we mean…teaching generations of Palestinians to hate Jews by demonizing and dehumanizing them.’ That is what democratic Israel faces, and it’s not getting any better.
Yet, for a generation, we have given economic aid to the Palestinians, in large part to try to stabilize their society to promote peaceful coexistence between the Palestinians and Israelis.
This goal is undermined every day that the PA makes payments for acts of terrorism.
This must stop.
This bipartisan bill cuts off assistance that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority unless the PA:
- Takes credible steps to end acts of violence,
- Stops payments for acts of terrorism,
- Revokes the laws requiring these payments, or takes actions comparable to revoking the laws,
- And publicly condemns these acts of violence.
Our bill also requires consistent reporting to Congress that clearly explains how the administration makes its determinations.
If our assistance is being withheld, the administration must report which of the PA’s dangerous actions are continuing so that Congress can determine how to apply pressure going forward.
Too many grieving families go to sleep every night knowing that money is changing hands as a reward for the violence that killed their loved ones.
With this bill, we are using the weight of U.S. law to help see that no more families – American, Israeli, or anyone – join their tragic ranks.
We do this in the name of one brave American, Taylor Force, to honor the memories of all victims and, importantly, help prevent future victims. We also do it in the hopes of peace.”