UN Funds on the Congressional Chopping Block This Week

The U.S. House of Representatives today is voting on a series of amendments to the Continuing Resolution that House Republican leadership hopes will fund government through the next fiscal year.   Several of these amendments take pot shots at the United Nations and other international institutions.

Here are a few of the anti-UN budget amendments that are on the table this week:

Cliff Stearns (R-FL) Amendment – Would prohibit funds for renovations underway at the UN headquarters in New York.

Dean Heller (R-NV) Amendment – Reduces funding for the International Fund for Agricultural Development by  $2.599 million.  Also reduces funding for Contributions to International Organizations* account by $44 million, Global Environmental Facility by $4.6 million, International Development Association by $136 million, Enterprise for American Multilateral Investment by $2.9 million, and African Development Fund by $19.5 million.

Louie Gohmert (R-TX) Amendment – Restricts U.S. financial assistance to countries that oppose American positions in General Assembly or Security Council.  In 2005, this was introduced as the “United Nations Voting Accountability Act.

Jeff Flake (R-AZ) Amendment – Reduces funding to the Contributions to International Organizations* account by $100.5 million

Paul Broun (R-GA) Amendment – Would prohibit funds from being used to pay any dues to the UN

These amendments will be discussed and debated the next few days as the House considers the Continuing Resolution.  Because Republicans now control the House of representatives, the final Continuing Resolution essentially represents the House Republican version of what they think the United States budget should be. That, of course,  is opposed to the White House budget request released yesterday, which is comparatively more generous to the United Nations.  (It fully funds UN peacekeeping and American dues to the regular UN budget.)

Unless there are defections from several Republicans on these various amendments, chances are that they will pass.  Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that these amendments are shortsighted and inimical to American security interests.

*The “Contributions to International Organizations” account funds more than just the United Nations. It also helps fund the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Health Organization, NATO, and UNESCO.