That doesn't mean Obama hasn't added any more non essential spending, on Friday the United States has quietly unblocked almost $500 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority which had been frozen by Congress for months.
"To date, we have moved $295.7 million in fiscal year 2012 money… and $200 million in fiscal year 2013 assistance," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.
The Obama administration also notified Congress in late February that it was seeking a further $200 million to fund US Agency for International Development (USAID) programs for the Palestinians, she said.
The first sum comprises some $195.7 million, allocated under the 2012 fiscal year budget for USAID economic, development and humanitarian assistance, as well as a further $100 million earmarked specifically for narcotics control.Anybody notice all the protests in the Palestinian controlled territories when Obama visited? What about their continued refusal to negotiate? Heck this supposed moderate government continues to recognize Israel's right to exist.
The second sum of $200 million unblocked and available to the Palestinian Authority will come under the 2013 budget and be spent for direct budget support.
The Palestinian Authority is facing its worst economic crisis in years, in part because of a failure by donors to deliver pledged funds. But its finances were plunged further into chaos after president Mahmud Abbas won upgraded UN observer status at the UN General Assembly in late November.
But in this time sequester, President Obama can find a way to give an organization with no interest in peace a half of a billion dollars at the same time he works to "punish" the American people.