The Trump administration is preparing its budget proposal, and word is that State Department staffers have received warnings that the White House is looking at cutting up to 50 percent of the $10 billion a year in funding that the United States provides to the United Nations.
Just mentioning cutting UN funding get the Left to freaking out, as Colum Lynch over at Foreign Policy demonstrates. Read the breathlessness of some of his article on the cuts:
State Department staffers have been instructed to seek cuts in excess of 50 percent in U.S. funding for U.N. programs, signaling an unprecedented retreat by President Donald Trump’s administration from international operations that keep the peace, provide vaccines for children, monitor rogue nuclear weapons programs, and promote peace talks from Syria to Yemen, according to three sources.
The push for such draconian measures comes as the White House is scheduled on Thursday to release its 2018 budget proposal, which is expected to include cuts of up to 37 percent for spending on the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign assistance programs, including the U.N., in next year’s budget.
It remains unclear whether the full extent of the steeper U.N. cuts will be reflected in the 2018 budget, which will be prepared by the White House Office of Management and Budget, or whether, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has proposed, the cuts would be phased in over the coming three years. One official close to the Trump administration said Tillerson has been given flexibility to decide how the cuts would be distributed.
Lynch continues his sky-is-falling quoting experts who lament that such “strong and disproportionate cuts” will “create ‘chaos.'” Apparently high on the list of areas ripe for cutting are UN services that offer “family planning” (read: abortions) and pro-Palestinian organizations.
Lynch even quotes a Heritage Foundation analyst who admits that 50-percent cuts to UN funding would be difficult, but the vast majority of the article’s analysis comes from a left-leaning perspective, including a dire warning against cutting funding from – big surprise – a former Obama administration staffer.
The fact of the matter is, drastic cuts to our United Nations funding face a tough road ahead in Congress – and even Lynch takes a breath long enough to admit it. Even if the cuts make it into the finished budget and Tillerson has the latitude to determine how the administration implements them, they’ll likely be more gradual than the worst fears. But that won’t stop the Left from freaking out over them, that’s for sure.