Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, says the United States should cut off funding to the United Nations after its vote to grant Palestine new status.
Hatch seeks cutoff of U.N. funding over Palestine stance

First Published Nov 30 2012 01:20 pm • Last Updated Apr 08 2013 11:31 pm

Sen. Orrin Hatch wants to cut all U.S. funding to the United Nations in retaliation for its recognition of Palestine as a nonvoting state, but the White House has no plans to strike back at Palestine or the U.N.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Friday the administration opposes withdrawing aid to the Palestinian Authority and said there are no other consequences that he could talk about under consideration.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The United States was one of nine nations to vote against boosting Palestine from an observer entity to an observer state, the others being Israel, Canada, Panama, the Czech Republic and four small nations among a group of Pacific islands. In all, 138 countries supported the move, including the European powers of France and Spain. Palestinian leaders hope the enhanced status will give it more leverage as it negotiates with Israel over territory and other matters.

The White House believes any breakthroughs will happen only in face-to-face negotiations, not in international bodies.

Hatch, R-Utah, worries Palestinian leaders could try to level charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court, adding fresh hostility to one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.

"If the U.N. wants to give more power to Palestine and weaken the chances of a two-party peace deal, then the Obama administration needs to stand up for Israel, our close friend and ally," Hatch said in a statement Friday. "This is the type of action we’ve come to expect from the U.N., so it’s entirely appropriate to cut off funding."

Because U.S. funding of the international organization comes through many federal agencies, it’s difficult to put a number on the total, though various reports put the amount at between $4 billion and $6 billion.

Hatch offered his amendment to a defense-authorization bill earlier this week, before Thursday’s U.N. vote. The Senate has yet to debate or vote on his proposal and with the high number of amendments offered on the bill, it may not.

It is identical to legislation Hatch pushed a year ago. Among the co-sponsors of Hatch’s amendment is his Utah GOP colleague, Sen. Mike Lee.

Meanwhile, the Senate late Thursday approved an amendment to the same defense bill sponsored by Lee. That amendment would prohibit the government from indefinitely detaining citizens and permanent legal residents even if they are suspected of being involved in terrorism, as long as they are arrested on American soil. Instead, they would face criminal charges and have access to a trial, the same rights afforded to those suspected of other crimes.


story continues below
story continues below

Lee joined Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to propose the amendment, which passed 67-29. Hatch voted against it.

"Once again we prove that increasing security does not have to result in diminished liberty," Lee said after the vote. "We have reaffirmed our constitutional values and shown we are committed to being both free and safe."

mcanham@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mattcanham



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.