Ambassador Samantha Power, who represents the United States at the UN Security Council, sat mum on Friday when the chair called for votes against an anti-Israel resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal. But she raised her hand high when the chair called for abstentions.
She, and her boss, President Barack Obama, could have voted no, in keeping with precedent, and in deference to the incoming administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump. Instead, they let the resolution pass.
In anticipation of Obama’s suspected — now confirmed — abstention, members of Congress threatened to de-fund the UN. The U.S. accounts for some 22% of the UN’s budget, supporting a large, comfortable bureaucracy and its various programs.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) issued a statement, warning: This provocative action by the United Nations is an outrage and must be dealt with sternly and forcefully.
As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I oversee the United States assistance to the United Nations. The United States is currently responsible for approximately 22 percent of the United Nations total budget.
If the United Nations moves forward with the ill-conceived resolution, I will work to form a bipartisan coalition to suspend or significantly reduce United States assistance to the United Nations.