Requests transparent answers prior to Blinken’s appearance before Appropriations Committee next week on how much funding has been sent to Hamas-controlled Gaza
WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Appropriations and Foreign Relations Committees, today sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power calling for answers and transparency on how much funding U.S. taxpayers have provided, in the form of U.S. foreign assistance, to Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) that is backed by Iran’s terror-sponsoring regime.
“As a State Department records response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request recently revealed, State Department officials warned during internal deliberations in March 2021: ‘Due to its overall strength and level of control over Gaza, we assess there is a high risk Hamas could potentially derive indirect, unintentional benefit from U.S. assistance to Gaza. There is less but still some risk U.S. assistance would benefit other designated [Foreign Terrorist Organization] groups.’ Moreover, multiple reports over the last year have revealed that the State Department has sent funds to Gaza-based organizations that cooperate with and support Palestinian terrorists,” Hagerty wrote.
“I want to ensure that not one single penny of U.S. taxpayer funds ever ends up again in the hands of Hamas and other Iran-backed Palestinian terrorists who savagely murdered over 1400 people in Israel—including at least 33 Americans—on October 7, 2023,” Hagerty continued.
Hagerty requested, on behalf of U.S. taxpayers, that the State Department and USAID fully and faithfully respond to the two questions prior to Secretary Blinken’s appearance before the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing titled “A Review of the National Security Supplemental Request” on October 31, 2023:
Question (1): Although Hamas—a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO)—controls Gaza, the United States has continued to send U.S. foreign assistance to Gaza. For each of the following appropriations laws, I request the Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide the total amount awarded—directly or indirectly—to any entity in Gaza, including whether the entity in Gaza was a recipient or sub recipient:
- Amounts provided by Titles III, IV, V, and VI of Division F of Public Law 116-6,
- Amounts provided by Titles III, IV, V, and VI of Division G of Public Law 116-94,
- Amounts provided by Titles III, IV, V, and VI of Division K of Public Law 116-260,
- Amounts provided by Titles III, IV, V, and VI of Division K of Public Law 117-103, and
- Amounts provided by Titles III, IV, V, and VI of Division K of Public Law 117-328.
Question (2): For each award provided—directly or indirectly—to an entity in Gaza, including whether the entity in Gaza was a recipient or sub recipient, under the appropriation laws described in question (1), I request the Department of State and USAID to provide:
- the total amount awarded,
- the source of the appropriation,
- whether the amount has been obligated, and
- what amounts remain unexpended.
A copy of the letter can be found here.