The UN in NYC

The debate over a somewhat important financial bailout bill has apparently not plugged the cracks through which uncommonly silly bills from time to time manage to be submitted in the U.S. Congress. In the House of Representatives, Republican legislator — and former long-shot presidential candidate — Tom Tancredo has introduced a bill bluntly titled the “United Nations Eviction Act”. The purpose of this pressing legislation?

To direct the Attorney General to institute condemnation proceedings to acquire the property in the headquarters district and any other property in the United States ofthe United Nations, and for other purposes.

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Trying to kick the UN out of New York has long been a hobby of fringe anti-UN types, but the attempt seems particularly out of place just one week after President Bush attested to the organization’s importance in his final speech before the General Assembly. In the words of Republican Representative Chris Shays, speaking at an event last week honoring 60 years of UN peacekeeping, hosting the United Nations should be seen not as an undue burden, but as a real source of pride for Americans.

While it would be nice if everyone appreciated the honor of having UN headquarters of U.S. soil as much as Rep. Shays, I am fairly confident that Rep. Tancreco will have a hard time rounding up enough voices to support the eviction of 191 other countries from Manhattan.