Congress is preparing to put America’s funding for the United Nations on the chopping block in retaliation for last week’s Security Council vote condemning Israel.
The United States currently contributes about $3 billion to the U.N. budget.
The U.N. vote has drawn bipartisan condemnation. Leaders of the Republican-controlled Congress and key figures in the incoming Trump administration have indicated that tax dollars funding the U.N. will be in the cross-hairs when Congress convenes.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Tuesday launched a petition entitled, “No U.S. funds for the U.N. until the vote on Israel is reversed.” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has also called for funding to be withdrawn.
“I look forward to working with Sen. Graham, and with the incoming Administration of President-elect Trump, to significantly reduce or even eliminate U.S. funding of the United Nations and also to seriously reconsider financial support for the nations that supported this resolution,” Cruz said.
John Bolton, a former U.N. ambassador who is being considered for the position of deputy secretary of state, said the U.N. should either repeal the resolution or face fiscal consequences.
“Personally, what I would recommend to the president-elect is once he takes office, he should say this resolution is illegitimate and the United States is going to seek to repeal it,” Bolton said. “If that fails, and that’s the most likely outcome, we should cut our contributions to the United Nations perhaps in toto until this resolution is repealed.”
The Obama administration has also come under attack for its role in passing, and perhaps crafting, the resolution. The Security Council rules give the U.S. veto power, which it chose not to use last week to block the resolution.
Since the resolution was passed, Israel has alleged the United States colluded with its enemies to pass the resolution. A report in an Egyptian newspaper on Tuesday purported to reveal a transcript of a meeting at which plans were made to put forward the resolution. The Obama administration has denied any active role in developing the resolution.
However, citing unnamed congressional sources, The Washington Free Beacon reported that there are concerns on Capitol Hill that the resolution might be part of a broader series of actions against Israel. The Free Beacon also reported that congressional leaders are prepared to escalate any response from lawmakers.
The Washington Post also noted that Congress will take action against the U.N.
“We will make a very strong attempt to do something immediately,” the Post quoted one GOP Senate aide as saying. “It is a real moment to re-examine the relationship with the United Nations and what it really does.”
“The disgraceful anti-Israel resolution passed by the UNSC was apparently only the opening salvo in the Obama administration’s final assault on Israel,” Cruz said. “President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Ambassador Power, and their colleagues should remember that the United States Congress reconvenes on January 3rd, and under the Constitution we control the taxpayer funds they would use for their anti-Israel initiatives.”
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