An amendment was filed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for just such a purpose, purporting to delete all spending related to the United Nations from the FY14 budget. Specifically, the amendment calls for a reduction of $7,691,822,000 in spending 2014 and 2023. That slash goes beyond even the most draconian of cuts proposed by House Republicans since they reclaimed a majority in 2010.
According to the Better World Campaign, the U.S. payment to the United Nations includes two main parts. The first includes the United States’ contribution to the U.N.’s regular budget and the other bodies under the U.N. umbrella, the second payment into the U.N.’s international peacekeeping efforts. Contributions from across the entirety of the Federal government into the various parts of the U.N. system equals the total that Sen. Paul is seeking to cut, according to 2011 calculations from the Office of Management and Budget.
Paul appears to be following in the footsteps of his father — former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) — in advancing the call to have the U.S. completely pull out of the United Nations. The elder Paul was the primary sponsor of the “American Sovereignty Restoration Act,” a bill introduced periodically from 1999 to 2009 that would ban the U.S. from membership in the U.N. Despite this antipathy towards the United Nations, Ron Paul recently turned to the U.N. system to help him gain control of a website bearing his name.
But the Republican senator from Kentucky is no stranger to using U.N. paranoia to burnish his right-wing credentials. In 2011, he sent a conspiratorial email to his supporters, warning of a supposed U.N. plot to confiscate and destroy U.S. citizens’ guns via a “Small Arms Treaty.” In reality, the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is only just now being developed and in no way will effect civilian ownership of firearms.
Paul’s office was unable to provide any indication of the support that the amendment was expected to receive, or when it would potentially hit the floor. Paul isn’t alone in his party in advocating a withdrawal from the U.N. despite its many benefits. In particular, the U.N. saves the U.S. millions in terms of providing security. “If the U.S. was to act on its own – unilaterally – and deploy its own forces in many of these countries, for every dollar the U.S. would spend, the U.N. can accomplish the mission for twelve cents,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said in an interview in 2009.
The U.S. public also disagrees with Paul on the necessity to withdraw the U.N. — a recent poll showed that eight in ten Americans believe that the U.S. needs to maintain a strong relationship with the United Nations.