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June 8, 2016

Barrasso Offers Amendment Opposing Palestinian Efforts to Circumvent Peace Process

Strongly opposes U.N. organization recognizing “State of Palestine” and reaffirms funding prohibition under U.S. law

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act reiterating Congress’ strong opposition to attempts to establish or seek recognition of a Palestinian state through the United Nations.

“The U.S. must not support or provide funding to those who undermine the peace process and recognize a ‘State of Palestine.’ The only lasting path to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians,” said Barrasso.

Barrasso’s amendment # 4561 also reaffirms that, because the “State of Palestine” was allowed to become a full member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), by law the United States is prohibited from funding it, along with the Green Climate Fund, the Conference of the Parties, and the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

“The law is absolutely clear – U.S. funding for U.N. organizations that recognize a ‘State of Palestine’ is expressly prohibited. Our amendment is a clear reminder for the Obama administration that if it sends a single penny of taxpayer funds to any of these groups, it will be breaking the law,” said Barrasso.

Barrasso’s amendment is co-sponsored by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), James Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT) Pat Roberts (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), David Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

On March 17, 2016, the “State of Palestine” was allowed to become a full member of the UNFCCC.

That action triggered a statutory restriction under the 1994 Foreign Relations Authorization Act that prohibits the U.S. government from providing taxpayer funds to affiliated organizations of the United Nations that grant full membership as a state to certain groups, such as the Palestinians.

On April 18, Barrasso led a group of 28 senators in sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanding that no U.S. funds be given to the UNFCCC and its related entities after March 17, 2016.