The deep cuts the Trump administration wants to make to the United Nations peacekeeping budget go too far even for Republicans, a number of whom expressed opposition to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley during an appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.
“Some of these cuts are massive and just devastating,” Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) told Haley, according to Bloomberg. “Our leadership is irreplaceable.”
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) described the cuts as “severe” and criticized the administration for not providing more details about its proposal, which would cut the US’s share of the UN peacekeeping budget to about 25 percent of total costs from 28.5 percent currently, and reduce the UN’s peacekeeping budget by 37 percent overall.
“The subcommittee lacks basic information on the administration’s plan to accomplish this,” Rogers said.
Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said the cuts are not “sustainable or advisable” if the US wants to maintain its status as a global leader.
Haley, however, disagreed. She told committee members that “[i]f you went to 25 percent you are not harming peace and stability… I have seen value in the UN, and at the same time the UN has fat around the edges.”
After the meeting ended, Haley took things a step further. She bragged about the cuts on Twitter as though UN peacekeeping efforts are a business that hasn’t been turning a sufficient profit.
"Just 5 months into our time here, we've cut over half a billion $$$ from the UN peacekeeping budget & we’re only getting started.” pic.twitter.com/LA7IKqupff
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) June 29, 2017
Though Haley thinks the cuts are something to be proud about, in a statement released last month, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said the UN cuts included in Trump’s proposed budget “would simply make it impossible for the UN to continue all of its essential work advancing peace, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance.”
One aspect of UN peacekeepers’ work is “supporting the return of internally displaced persons and refugees.” That seems like work the White House should support, given the lengths the Trump administration has gone in an effort to curtail refugee resettlement in the US.
UN peacekeepers also maintain peace and security in conflict zones, assist in political processes, help countries reform their judicial systems, and work to disarm and reintegrate former combatants, among other things.