Politics

UN-Done: New Spending Bill Cuts US Funds To United Nations

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

The new spending bill presented by the House Committee on Appropriations has several provisions that limit and outright cut funding to several United Nations programs and initiatives.

The provisions of the bill limit spending on the U.N. ranging from abortion issues to halting funding of a new U.N. headquarters in New York City.

Included in the provision are several abortion related issues. The Tiahrt Amendment will ensure any funded family planning programs will be voluntary. The Helms Amendment bans foreign aid from being spent on abortions outright. The Kemp-Kasten Amendment will band funding any programs the president “determines to support coercive abortion of involuntary sterilization.” A total 7 percent cut will be seen in U.S. financial aid to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) if it operates in China.

The bill will also cease any funding to the renovation of the U.N. headquarters in New York City, also known as the United Nations Capital Master Plan.

Additionally, funding for the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty has been halted. According to the treaty’s website, it seeks to have “countries regulate the international trade in conventional weapons – from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships – and work to prevent the diversion of arms and ammunition.”

The appropriations bill contains an important provision for Israel as well. Congress will completely cease funding to the U.N. Human Rights Council “unless it is important to national interest and the council takes steps to stop its anti-Israel agenda,” says the bill’s summary.

Several U.N. agencies will see a 15 percent cut in funding across the board until audits are made publicly available and improvements to transparency are met.

The new appropriations omnibus bill sets aside $38 billion in discretionary funding for foreign operations and $15 billion to combat terrorism across the globe. The $53 billion total is $3.4 billion larger than last year’s, and $1.3 billion less than Barack Obama administration’s request for the upcoming fiscal year.

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