Tags: House | Votes | Withhold | Partial | U.N | Dues

House Votes to Withhold Partial U.N Dues

Thursday, 10 May 2001 12:00 AM

That commission voted off the U.S. last week in favor of France, Austria and Sweden to the three seats allocated to Western countries at the Geneva commission. The U.S. was also voted off the U.N.'s International Narcotics Board.

The dues withholding came in the form of an amendment introduced by House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill., and Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., that would allow the $582 million payment but withhold an additional $244 million in back dues until the United States is returned to the Human Rights Commission. It was part of a State Department appropriations bill.

President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell opposed the measure. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Wednesday that the president "feels strongly that this issue should not be linked to the payment of our arrears to the U.N."

However, many lawmakers are angry because genocidal, slavery-inflicting Sudan was added to the U.N. commission. The State Department has listed Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.

"I think there's an injustice there that ought to be addressed," House Speaker Dennis Hastert said. He decried that Sudan, China and Libya, "some of the greatest perpetrators of human rights abuses in the world," had seats on the rights commission.

"Actions have consequences," Lantos said. "Our U.N. friends have an option - if they would like to get the payment, they will vote the United States back on the commission. We will not turn the other cheek as the Sudans and Libyas of the world declare the United States unfit to serve on the Human Rights Commission."

Not all of Lantos' Democrat colleagues agreed, especially Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.

"The deal we agreed to was to pay our dues. It's wrong for us to turn around and change the rules," Maloney said.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., said, "How can we expect the United Nations to improve its performance or respect us if we go back on our word and refuse to pay our bills?"

The Senate approved the pending $582 million payment earlier this year but has not addressed next year's $244 million payment. Differences between the Senate and House measures would be worked out in a joint negotiating committee.

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That commission voted off the U.S. last week in favor of France, Austria and Sweden to the three seats allocated to Western countries at the Geneva commission. The U.S. was also voted off the U.N.'s International Narcotics Board. The dues withholding came in the form of...
House,Votes,Withhold,Partial,U.N,Dues
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2001-00-10
Thursday, 10 May 2001 12:00 AM
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