Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Congress presses Hamas

Four U.S. congressional initiatives would ban assistance to a Palestinian Authority governed by Hamas.

Three, in the House of Representatives, are bills that aim to become law. One, cosponsored by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), also seeks to cut some funding to the United Nations until it abolishes a number of pro-Palestinian subsidiaries. Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) has proposed a similar bill, and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). is circulating a bill that would ban outright any assistance to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In the Senate, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced a non-binding resolution that urges Bush to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority under Hamas governance. The Bush administration is lobbying to keep the bills off the floor, preferring to lead initiatives against Hamas.

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