Blackburn, Colleagues Demand Biden Freeze U.S. Aid to Palestinians

October 17, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of President Biden’s trip to Israel, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is introducing legislation to halt all funding for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

“It is clear that U.S. aid intended for the Palestinian people has repeatedly ended up in the hands of terrorists,” said Senator Blackburn. “Since taking office, President Biden has sent the UNRWA over $730 million, despite knowing there would be a high risk of Hamas benefiting from American taxpayers. UNRWA teachers and educational materials call for the murder of Jews, and the Biden administration should immediately halt all funding for the agency. The U.S. government should not be funding terrorists.”

“Antisemitism has no place in our country, and our tax dollars should never be used to fund Hamas,” said Senator Lummis. “I have grave concerns with reports that U.N. Relief and Works Agency funding for Palestinian refugees often ends up in the hands of Hamas terrorists. We must halt this funding to ensure U.S. taxpayer dollars are not being used to buy weapons for Hamas and to pressure the UN into expelling Iran from the General Assembly.”

“Whether it’s funded via the U.N., or any other multilateral organization, U.S. taxpayer dollars should not be supporting foreign terrorists,” said Senator Rubio. “Any U.S. contributions that benefit the criminal Iran-backed terrorist group, Hamas, must be halted immediately.” 

“Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism and the largest financial backer of Hamas,” said Senator Britt. “As we work to hold Iran accountable and comprehensively cut off the revenue streams that the Iranian regime uses to finance terrorism, we must also crush Hamas’ access to resources across the board. It is gut-wrenching knowing that hard-earned American taxpayer dollars could be funneled to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees and end up in Hamas’ hands. The United States has a moral obligation and a national security imperative to ensure that not a single cent of our taxpayer money enables the barbaric atrocities we have seen committed against children, women, and men in Israel, including American citizens. It is time to send a resounding, unequivocal message – continued contributions to Hamas, by either direct or indirect means, equates to complicity with their actions.”

“I have long opposed American taxpayer funds going to the UN, which gives a global stage to the world’s worst human rights abusers and terror sponsors, was a puppet for Communist China as it worked to cover-up COVID origins, and has for years supported Iran-backed Hamas terrorism through its Agency for Palestine Refugees,” said Senator Rick Scott. “America did the right thing under President Trump to stop U.S. funding for the UNRWA. We must pass this good bill to hold Iran accountable, stop Biden’s appeasement and halt this funding once again.”


  • U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah)
  • The legislation will halt all funding for the UNRWA until Iran is expelled from the U.N. and investigated for violations of the genocide convention.
  • The UNRWA has a history of being antisemitic and employing individuals affiliated with Hamas.
    • For over a decade, Hamas has stolen aid from the UNRWA intended for the Palestinian people.
    • It was recently reported earlier this week that Hamas stole fuel and medical equipment from the UN group.
  • Internal State Department documents indicate that the Biden administration was aware that sending taxpayer dollars to the Palestinians could bolster Hamas.


  • Click here for a video of Senator Blackburn discussing this legislation and here to download it.