WASHINGTON (May. 6)
President Carter, acting at the recommendation of the State Department, is seeking repeal of the Wolff Amendment designed to bar U.S. financial support to the United Nations program publicizing the Palestine Liberation Organization, but its approval by Congress appears doomed.
The Wolff Amendment, named for its sponsor Rep. Lester Wolff (D. NY), reduces by $200,000 the funds allocated to the State Department to be given to the United Nations as the U.S. share of operational costs of the international organization. The $200,000 is the amount the U.S. would technically contribute towards the PLO program. Under UN budgeting, a country cannot exclude any portion of its payments for a specific purpose.
The Carter Administration’s move to repeal the amendment was in the President’s budgeting for supplemental requests above the budget approved last year. The Congress had last year adopted a two-year program for U.S. financing for the UN covering the U.S. fiscal years 1980 and 1981. It served specific notice that it did not want any of that money to be used for the PLO. By seeking the repeal, the State Department sought to reverse that objection.
“The case is closed as far as we are concerned,” an aide to Rep. Dante Fascell (D.Fla.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Operations, said. The prospects for repeal of the Wolff Amendment, he said, “are absolutely zero.” The Administration’s request is lodged with the Fascell subcommittee and will not move from it, he said.