House Foreign Affairs Committee Bill Would Place Restrictions On U.S. Aid, Cut U.N. Payments

“House Republicans sought to put their stamp on U.S. foreign policy Wednesday by advancing a bill that would slash federal payments to the United Nations and other international bodies and slap restrictions on aid to Pakistan, Egypt and others,” the Washington Post reports (Sheridan, 7/20).

“The Republican-drafted measure was a direct challenge to President Barack Obama as members of the GOP majority sought to limit his foreign policy authority, slash U.S. contributions to international organizations and reverse policies on abortion. Overall, the bill would cut $6.4 billion from Obama’s request of $51 billion for the State Department and foreign operations in the next budget,” the Associated Press writes (Cassata, 7/20).

The measure would restrict “security and civilian aid to Pakistan unless the Obama administration certified that Pakistan was making progress on fighting terrorism,” the Washington Post reports. The House Foreign Affairs Committee “approved amendments that cut Washington’s contribution to the United Nations by 25 percent” and eliminated payment of U.S. dues to the Organization of American States, a group that “brings together Western Hemisphere governments to address political turmoil and poverty,” according to the Post. The bill “also would reinstate the ‘Mexico City’ rule, which would eliminate federal funding for any non-governmental group that offered abortion counseling overseas,” the newspaper notes.

On Wednesday, the bill’s “passage was a foregone conclusion because of the panel’s Republican majority. Even if it passes the full House, though, the bill is expected to be dead on arrival in the Senate, where the Democratic majority is preparing a State Department authorization bill of its own,” the newspaper notes. But it could still “signal to lawmakers how to shape the appropriations bill, a separate piece of legislation that determines where the money actually goes” (7/20).

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