United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley had some great news for the country today.
She defended the Trump administration’s plan to drastically cut America’s spending on the UN. She spoke to a House subcommittee, telling them the proposed cuts had sent “shockwaves” through the body, putting the UN “on notice.”
“My job was to go the UN and find value. We want to make sure the U.S. voice is strong, use it for negotiations in every way possible, to push foreign policy… but at the same time the UN has fat around the edges,” she said.
"Just 5 months into our time here, we've cut over half a billion $$$ from the UN peacekeeping budget & we’re only getting started.” pic.twitter.com/LA7IKqupff
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) June 29, 2017
Democrats and some members in the Republican party expressed their concerns over the drastic cuts and how that would affect the UN.
The U.S. is more often than not, the top funder of most budgets, even those with a distinctly anti-American bias.
It’s not too hard to believe that some people were upset. Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey from New York called them “far-reaching and catastrophic.”
“Frankly I cannot understand how this administration intends to influence the UN agenda, help those most in need, and advance UN reform if it disengages and severely cuts our contributions.”
She noted the proposed cuts included a 37 percent cut for international peacekeeping, a 27 percent hit to contributions like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization. Other Democrats pointed to cuts to UNICEF, the World Food Program and the UN Populations Fund (UNFPA).
Haley later noted that $70 million was pulled away from the UNFPA as it was associated with a Chinese company that performed forced sterilization. She said that money was redirected to make sure it accomplished the same goals without those aspects that were against U.S. interests.
Haley also warned that some organizations had become complacent with their budgets, something that was not translating to value for money.
“There are many good organizations that do good work for the U.N. and help people around the world,” she said, before noting that some agencies assume the money will always be there. “Are we giving American taxpayers value for their dollar?”
Democrats we understand. But there were Republicans who were upset as well. Most were concerned over the impact the cuts would have in the U.S.’ role at the UN.
Rep. Kay Granger of Texas said the cuts were a “shockwave”, asking Haley, “Is the U.S. stepping back?”
“Some of these cuts are massive and they are just devastating. I would beg you to stand firm in that, of course we need to use our American dollars well but our leadership is irreplaceable,” Granger said.
Haley responded, saying American leadership could be shown by forcing the UN to reform its big budgets. She agreed with Granger that, yes, the cuts did send a shockwave, but that was a good thing.
President Trump conveyed his message loud and clear, putting the UN “on notice.”
“The cuts the president and the administration proposed did send shockwaves through the United Nations and it did put everyone on notice, but I do think that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think that if he was intending to send a message he did,” she said.
Now the UN knows the U.S. will not be a rubber stamp for the body, and that we will be watching it “very closely,” according to Haley.
“What we saw in return is they all understand that we won’t be taken for granted any more. They all understand that we expect to find value in the UN. they all and that reforms are needed because it’s been archaic for a while and that they realize they have to support us in that. They do realize we’re now watching the UN very closely so all those things are actually really good.”
So, this is something Trump said he would do. Did he deliver in the way you were hoping? Let us know in the comments below!