Donald Trump has only just been inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States but for many disappointed Democrats, America’s first black president left office too soon. It’s clear that the Obama Administration had a lot of ardent support from the beginning. After the conclusion of what might well have been the bitterest and most closely-fought election in modern history, a number of people miss Trump’s predecessor already.
Trump’s fundamental political policies seem to be diametrically opposed to many of Obama’s, and the Republican leader’s first day in office was a controversial one, with the former Apprentice host making a u-turn on Obamacare, military spending and foreign trade agreements.
For those Americans on the liberal end of the political spectrum, these moves appear to foreshadow a troubling four years. But luckily for them, Obama spent his last days in office working frantically to ensure that his successor would be unable to reverse some of his most important decisions.
So if you’ve been mourning Obama’s departure from the White House, then the following news will probably be inspiring. It has emerged that Obama’s last acts as president were to send an enormous amount of money to Palestine, and to provide millions preventing climate change.
A fortune of some $221 million was granted to the Palestinian Authority, money that certain GOP Members of Congress had been blocking. Former Secretary of State John Kerry had informed some legislators of the decision shortly before leaving the State Department for the last time on Thursday. A written notification was sent to congress just a few hours before Trump’s inauguration.
The Obama Administration also informed Congress that it would provide another $6 million in foreign affairs spending, including $4 million for climate change programmes and $1.25 million for the UN, according to congressional aides.
The Obama Administration had been pressing to secure the funds for humanitarian operations in the West Bank and elsewhere in the region, but their efforts had been repeatedly frustrated by two GOP legislators: Ed Royce of California, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger of Texas, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee. These lawmakers had blocked progress due to moves the Palestinian Authority had taken to seek membership in international organisations.
The $1.25 million for the UN will contribute to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Peacebuilding Fund, the Special Coordinator on improving the international response to sexual abuse, and the Montreal Protocol Secretariat, which oversees the protection of the ozone layer. The $4 million will be granted to climate programmes, including assistance for clean energy, sustainable landscapes, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and creating a climate technology centre. However Obama is remembered, these are fairly charitable acts in his last hours as leader of the free world.