U.N. Officials To Testify On Capitol Hill As Lawmakers Propose Cutting U.S. Funding For U.N.

High-level U.N. officials are scheduled to testify this week on Capitol Hill, “where they will argue against initiatives to pare back U.S. funding and shake up the way the United Nations does business,” CQ reports.

Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., on Wednesday will go “before the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, followed by the Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday … And U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is holding closed briefings with the two panels Thursday,” according to CQ.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “is putting the finishing touches on an update to her bill, first introduced in 2009, to overhaul the way the United States pays its dues to the United Nations.” The bill is likely to be introduced by next week.

In addition, House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) proposed cutting the U.S. contribution to the U.N. in a continuing resolution that was unveiled on Monday. “Even though the White House and Senate Democrats called it a non-starter, Rogers’ bill, along with similar cuts in the House-passed funding proposal for the rest of the fiscal year (HR 1), demonstrate that House Republicans’ anti-U.N. rhetoric could have a real impact on the international body’s bottom line,” CQ notes (Cadei, 4/5).  

FY11 Budget Talks Remain Unresolved

“President Barack Obama called on Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders on Tuesday to ‘act like grown-ups’ and put aside their differences on a six-month spending bill,” Roll Call reports.

“In an impromptu news conference at the White House, Obama bluntly criticized the pace of talks and argued it is up to himself, House Speaker John Boehner [R-Ohio] and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to quickly come to terms on a bill to avoid a government shutdown. … Obama also rejected a one-week stopgap spending measure being pushed by House Republicans, saying he would only support a two- or three-day extension to allow negotiators to finish their work” (Stanton, 4/5).

“Obama cast the Democratic proposal to cut this year’s spending by $33 billion as a significant offer that met Republicans halfway, and he suggested the GOP would have to deal too if it were to avoid blame for a shutdown,” The Hill writes. “That is not acceptable to our members, and we will not agree to it,” Boehner said of the offer to cut $33 billion (O’Brien, 4/5).

“Republican leaders surprised Democrats with a new bid to slash spending by $40 billion … So far, it remains unclear whether Democrats will accept the latest Republican offer,” according to CQ (Young, 4/5).  

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