Anti-U.N. Bill Introduced in the House
By Mary Stata on 09/01/2011 @ 04:00 PM
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released her long awaited UN “reform” bill on Tuesday with 57 co-sponsors. This legislation would cut U.S. dues that are assessed annually by the U.N. unless the international body agrees to divide most of its budget on a voluntary basis. Since the U.N. is extremely unlikely to agree to these demands, the bill would essentially result in an automatic cut in U.N. dues. Click here to read more analysis of the legislation.
This bill is being touted as a “reform” bill, yet withholding dues has historically been counterproductive in encouraging change at the U.N. Over the past several years, the U.S. paid its U.N. dues in full. During this time, the U.N. dramatically improved its oversight capabilities and the transparency of its operations. By fully financially and diplomatically engaging in the U.N., the U.S. can encourage further reforms.
The bill is also intended to coincide with the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood recognition at the U.N. this fall. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s legislation seeks to eliminate funding for Palestinian refugees and would withhold U.S. funding to any U.N. entity that upgrades the status of the Palestinian mission.
The introduction of this bill is not a surprise. Since last winter, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has held a series of hearings focused on U.N. reform. Further, the House State Authorization bill was marked up last month, and included several damaging provisions for the U.S. relationship to the U.N. and international community. For months, FCNL has lobbied dozens of Members of Congress to fully fund U.S. dues to the U.N.
This anti-U.N. legislation is expected to garner support in the House of Representatives, but is very unlikely to be taken up in the Senate. Please take action and urge your representative to oppose this damaging legislation.