This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to pay U.S. dues to the United Nations (U.N.). This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.
Broun urged support for his amendment: “…In the United Nations over and over again we see enemies of America, enemies of our freedom, voting against us over and over again. We see an organization there that's just rife with fraud, corruption, with a tremendous amount of problems. We see the U.N. bring people over here who have diplomatic immunity who have been caught in the business of spying against America, want to harm us….it's time to take a solid stand against our supporting this kind of organization by giving our taxpayers' hard earned money and taxpayers' dollars to an organization that I believe is not in the best interests of America…. I personally would like to see us get out of the U.N. and get the U.N. out of the U.S., but we cannot do that today. But…we can deny taxpayer dollars being wasted on this organization….So I encourage my colleagues to support this amendment to defund the U.N.”
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) opposed the amendment: “The U.N. is critical to advancing U.S. national security interests, and the Broun amendment would impede our ability to influence crucial counterterrorism actions at the U.N. Security Council, including concrete steps targeting al Qaeda and the Taliban, global action addressing the conduct of regimes such as North Korea and Iran,…imposing the most comprehensive sanctions ever on these regimes…U.N. peacekeeping operations, which are an indispensable tool, have saved untold lives, averted dozens of wars, and helped restore or establish democratic rule in more than a dozen countries.”
The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 177-243. Voting “yea” were 171 Republicans and 6 Democrats. 180 Democrats and 63 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have prohibited funds provided by a continuing resolution from being used to pay U.S. dues to the United Nations.