The Tea Party Goes After the U.N. Budget
You saw this coming:
House Republicans introduced legislation today that seeks to force major changes at the United Nations, using as leverage the threat to withhold some of the U.S.’s 22 percent contribution to the world body’s operating budget.
The bill by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, would demand that the UN let countries decide how much to pay and which programs they will support, rather than assessing payments based on a formula. It would end funding for Palestinian refugees, limit use of U.S. funds to only purposes outlined by Congress and put a hold on creating or expanding peacekeeping operations until management changes are made.
“We need a UN which will advance the noble goals for which it was founded,” Ros-Lehtinen of Florida said in a statement. “The current UN continues to be plagued by scandal, mismanagement and inaction, and its agenda is frequently hijacked by rogue regimes which protect each other while targeting free democracies like the U.S. and Israel.
I don’t have an actual copy of the proposed bill (anyone?) but it sounds like a variation on previous efforts to pressure the U.N. through budget measures. I don’t fully understand what it means by making funding “voluntary.” Are they talking about renegotiating underlying international agreements?
I know this strategy has had some limited success in the past, but I am skeptical of whether it really has had much impact. Still, I suppose nothing talks like money. And I do think this will get the U.N.’s attention.