Despite America’s $17.5 trillion in debt, President Obama wants to funnel even more of your tax dollars to the United Nations. Is this really what he should be doing with the funding he slashed from the military budget?
When U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday, the panel will consider a budget request for international organizations that is 33 percent bigger than last year’s, including a 43 percent hike in U.S. contributions to peacekeeping missions.
The administration’s fiscal year 2015 budget request for the U.N. and other organizations is $4.036 billion, up from $3.031 billion in FY2014. For contributions to peacekeeping missions, it is asking for $2.518 billion, up from $1.765 last year.
The $2.518 billion for peacekeeping amounts to 28.36 percent of the U.N.’s total peacekeeping budget. The U.S. also provides 22 percent of the separate U.N. operating budget. The U.N. has 193 member states.
According to Heritage Foundation scholar Brett Schaefer, President Clinton in 1994 signed a law setting a 25 percent cap on U.S. contributions for U.N. peacekeeping, which at the time were running at around 30 percent.
In 2000 the U.N. committed to reducing the U.S. peacekeeping assessment to 25 percent of the total and through the following decade it was gradually reduced, from 30.28 percent in 2000 to 25.96 percent in 2009. But then in 2010 it began picking up again as the administration and Congress amended U.S. law to raise the cap for specific periods.
“The U.S. should resume pressure on the U.N. to lower the U.S. peacekeeping assessment to 25 percent by refusing to pay more than this amount and tying payment of any resulting arrears to adoption by the U.N. of a maximum peacekeeping assessment of 25 percent,” Schaefer wrote in a recent brief.
Schaefer said Congress should reject the “peacekeeping response mechanism” proposal.
“Generally, such [peacekeeping] missions take weeks or months to stand up and should be funded through transfer of existing resources, the normal budgetary process, or, if necessary, emergency supplemental appropriations,” he argued.
Source: CNS News