The House Freedom Caucus, a congressional caucus consisting of Republican House of Representatives members, is weighing a proposal to cut U.S. funding to the U.N. According to a Buzzfeed report Thursday, the HFC is expected to meet this coming Monday to discuss the proposal, along with another that would make funding to the U.N. voluntary, with Congress deciding every two years whether to continue funding the international peacekeeping body.
The proposal is partly a reaction to the Obama administration’s controversial refusal to veto U.N. resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlements as illegal. Mark Meadows, the Chairman of the Freedom Caucus, said he believes a House vote later this week affirming support for Israel is insufficient.
“Israel is a bipartisan issue so I think that [if legislation] is measured and appropriate we could pick up a lot of Democrats to support it as well,” Meadows said, according to Buzzfeed’s report. Meadows described the proposal calling for a cut to the U.N’s funding as “an incremental step,” while the second, which would weigh continued funding of the U.N., “is really a herculean leap.”
The proposals are significant in light of the fact that the U.S. is responsible for over 20% of the U.N.’s funding, with the U.S. expected to provide $594 million in funding next year. The initiative to defund the U.N. is being led by Senator Lindsey Graham.
According to E-International Relations, a website for students and international politics scholars, the United Nations “owes a lot of what it is today to the US. It was the US that breathed life into the UN with its power and resources. However, contrary to popular myth, there never was a golden age in the relationship between them. It is not very surprising to see multilateralism in the UN under crisis, nor is the ambivalence of USA towards it.”
In a December statement, Graham prophesied that the United Nations “will regret this vote and I hope the Obama Administration will realize the massive mistake they made on their way out of the door. With today’s abstention, the Obama Administration has empowered evil and been a very poor friend to democracy.”