Politics & Government

Graham wants to cut funding to UN over Israel vote

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, is teaming up with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to introduce a bill defunding the United Nations until the Security Council repeals a resolution condemning Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

Graham and Cruz introduced the bill in the Senate on Thursday, according to a report in the Washington Examiner. If approved, the bill could cost the UN around $8 billion annually.

“Twenty-two percent of the money to fund the UN comes from the American taxpayer,” Graham said. “I don't think it's a good investment for the American taxpayer to give money to an organization that condemns the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Last month, the UN Security Council approved a resolution condemning Israel’s practice of building settlements in the occupied West Bank, land Palestinians claim for their future state. The UN maintains the settlements violate international law.

The outgoing Obama administration could have vetoed the resolution but abstained on the vote, allowing it to pass 14-0. The move attracted criticism from President-elect Donald Trump and other Republicans, including Graham. The House voted overwhelmingly last week to rebuke the UN for the Security Council vote.

“This was John Kerry and Obama taking a slap at Israel, and we're going to push back,” Graham said.

The move comes only a week before S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley will appear on Capitol Hill for a confirmation hearing to become the next U.S. ambassador to the UN once Trump becomes president.

Read more on the proposal here.