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Senate Votes to Prohibit U.S. Voluntary Contributions to the UN from Being Used for PLO Programs

The Senate by a 90-2 vote last week prohibited any voluntary contributions by the United States to the United Nations from being used for programs for the Palestine Liberation Organization. The prohibition was in the form of an amendment introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D. NJ) to the appropriations bill for the Commerce, Justice and State Departments.

The PLO “is committed, on paper and in practice, to the destruction of one of our closest allies, Israel, “Lautenberg told the Senate last Friday. “And terror is its chosen means of achieving its goals. Recent events only confirm this conclusion.”

Lautenberg noted that for the past several years foreign aid bills have prohibited the use of U.S. voluntary contributions to the UN. Since 1980, the State Department authorization bill reduces the U.S. assessed contribution to the UN budget by the amount that would be used for projects that benefit the PLO, about $1 million.

Lautenberg stressed that his amendment reaffirms this policy in the appropriation bill since “the appropriations process is the final arbiter of how this country actually spends its money.”

Sens. Barry Goldwater (R. Ariz.) and Charles Mathias (R. Md.) voted against the amendment but did not give any reasons for doing so.