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Texas judge grants GOP lawmaker standing to sue Biden administration over UNRWA funding

A federal judge in Texas granted Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) standing to sue the Biden administration for reinstating funding to a United Nations-affiliated organization whose members have been accused of helping Hamas. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk denied the federal government’s motion to dismiss Jackson’s lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s decision to reinstate […]

A federal judge in Texas granted Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) standing to sue the Biden administration for reinstating funding to a United Nations-affiliated organization whose members have been accused of helping Hamas.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk denied the federal government’s motion to dismiss Jackson’s lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s decision to reinstate funding for the United Nations Works and Relief Agency.

Jackson filed the complaint in December 2022, alleging that the Biden administration “unlawfully” reinstated UNRWA funding after former President Donald Trump terminated the flow of money to the agency in 2018. The Trump administration invoked the policy change over concerns that the agency was funding terrorist groups


The Texas Republican alleged the Biden administration “unlawfully” reinstated the funding, giving more than $1.5 billion to Gaza in part through UNRWA funds. The plaintiff accused the government of violating the Taylor Force Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, which prohibits assistance that “directly” benefits the Palestinian Authority. 

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) emerges from a meeting room in Washington D.C., Oct. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Biden administration made a move to dismiss the complaint in April 2023, arguing that Jackson lacked standing to raise a challenge to UNWRA funding and that his complaint was “amorphous.”

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In his decision, Kacsmaryk rebuffed the Biden administration saying in part that Jackson “was not referring to something amorphous or indeterminate, but to … [the Trump] administration’s termination of Economic Support Funds in the West Bank and Gaza and ceasing of contributions United Nation’s Relief Work Agency.”

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In February, accusations that UNRWA played a direct role in Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel stunned the world. Reports alleged that 12 UNRWA members worked with Hamas to carry out its attack that murdered over 1,200 children, women, and men in Israel. Ten percent of UNRWA staffers are also accused of being members of Hamas or its associated terrorist group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

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