The United Nations has been in the spotlight on Capitol Hill since the 115th Congress took office in January 2017 and now funding for the UN is under threat. A small group of representatives in Congress have proposed three separate bills that would have us withdraw from the United Nations or completely eliminate U.S. support for its life-saving work, putting millions of people at risk.
If allowed to pass, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017 in the House of Representatives and the Safeguard Israel Act in the House and the Senate, would severely undermine U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives while crippling vital UN operations. Moreover, it’s clear that Americans remain overwhelmingly supportive of the UN – a recent bipartisan poll confirmed that 88 percent of Americans believe we should maintain an active role in the UN – yet this select group of Representatives and Senators need an urgent reminder that the best way to advance U.S. and Israeli interests is to keep our seat at the table.
American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017 (H.R. 193)
The American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017 was introduced by Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) on January 3, 2017. The bill calls on the U.S. to “terminate” its membership in the United Nations and cut all ties with the organization. A similar version was offered in 2015.
Among other things, the bill requires:
- The President to terminate U.S. membership in the United Nations.
- Closure of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
The bill also prohibits:
- Any funding for the U.S. assessed or voluntary contributions to the UN.
- Any funding for the U.S. contribution to UN peacekeeping operations.
If enacted, the bill would do the exact opposite of what its name implies. It would greatly undermine American sovereignty, ceding the floor to all those who oppose American values, while at the same time crippling the UN’s vital humanitarian and peacekeeping work around the world, leading to lives lost and untold suffering.
Safeguard Israel Act
The Safeguard Israel Act of 2017 (S. 107) was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on January 12, 2017. A House version of the bill (H.R. 769) was introduced on January 31, 2017 by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY). The legislation punishes the UN for a recent Security Council resolution regarding Israeli settlements and cuts off U.S. funding to vital agencies such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Program (WFP), the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Perhaps most startling, the bill includes no waivers and no exceptions, recklessly jeopardizing the UN’s lifesaving work around the globe.
Take Action in Support of the UN
Let’s make sure all Members of Congress hear us loud and clear: Defunding or withdrawing from the UN is not an option!