US House Votes to Withhold UN DuesThe US House of Representatives on Thursday voted to withhold some back dues from the United Nations until the United States regains its seat on the UN Human Rights Commission.
The measure, which passed 252-165, would allow a pledged payment of 582 million dollars in back dues but conditioned an additional 244 million dollars owed to the UN on regaining US seat on the human rights panel.
The measure was passed as an amendment to the House Foreign Relations Act, despite calls from the Bush administration to not link the two issues.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher on Wednesday criticized the amendment. "We think that it would be extremely damaging to our ability to cooperate in multilateral organizations and with a sense that we are a reliable participant in these organizations and that we'll pay our way," he said.
The United States was ousted from the 53-state UN Human Rights Commission in a secret ballot at its parent UN Economic and Social Council body last Thursday.
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