America’s involvement in — and financial support of — the United Nations has been a source of contention for generations, with many conservatives arguing that the U.S. government should not fund an entity with policies that often run contrary to the nation’s best interests.
2024 Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, for example, confirmed in October that he would be “open to re-evaluating U.S. involvement in the U.N.,” though he did not provide details regarding what his preferred relationship with the institution would be.
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), on the other hand, was more decisive in his stance, confirming this week that he planned to file a motion in the chamber that would “defund” the U.N.
Tomorrow I will file by bill to #DefundTheUN.
Please like and repost if you’d like to see that bill become law.
— Mike Lee (@BasedMikeLee) December 5, 2023
In a follow-up to a previous social media post in favor of defunding the organization, Lee wrote: “While we’re at it, let’s expel them too.”
His most recent proposal received significant support from the right, including Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who signaled his intention to file a companion bill in the House.
“The UN doesn’t deserve a single DIME of American taxpayer money,” his office explained in a social media post. “That’s why Rep. Roy is looking forward to introducing House legislation alongside [Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)] and [Lee] that would DEFUND it.”
The ongoing Israel-Hamas war has sparked renewed interest in withdrawing America’s funding of the U.N. within some GOP circles.
During a campaign event in New Hampshire last month, Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis lashed out at the U.N.’s calls for a ceasefire as Israel attempted to eradicate the Hamas terrorists who staged a deadly attack the previous month.
“Defund the U.N.,” he said at the time. “I mean, are you kidding me? What a farce.”
The Florida governor went on to expose the perceived fallacy of the organization’s argument.
“There should be a ceasefire?” DeSantis asked rhetorically. “Like, wait a minute. They can attack you and you’re not allowed to fight back and end the problem?”
For her part, GOP White House hopeful Nikki Haley expressed criticism of the U.N. and said she would support defunding the entity “as much as possible” but said that there are compelling reasons for the U.S. to remain a member.
“And the number of things we were able to stop China, Russia, and Iran from doing with that veto matters, and so you keep bad things from happening,” she said. “But we don’t have to pay at the level that we’re paying and we don’t have to be in any of those other organizations.”