U.S. funding for a controversial United Nations body would be eliminated under legislation offered by Rep. Matt Salmon. The Arizona Republican's bill takes aim at the $35 million currently allotted to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an international family planning group.
According to Salmon's office, UNFPA is actually "an international, pro-choice organization that is consistently involved in supporting programs that are not in line with America's policy agenda. This includes allegations that the UNFPA cooperates with China's coercive one-child policy."
UNFPA has long been in conservatives' cross-hairs, including Salmon's first House stint from 1995-2001. In the 2012 elections he claimed a newly-open House seat for his return ticket to Congress.
Broader Spending Cuts
Salmon's legislation is part of his wider push to ax what he considers unnecessary federal programs, his Shrink Our Spending project.
"Since U.S. taxpayers already fund many global health initiatives through both the Department of State and USAID, subject to congressional oversight and U.S. law, there is no need to further fund the UNFPA," Salmon said. "It is time that Congress start finding ways to reduce wasteful spending in our budget instead of funding multi-national organizations that spend American dollars on duplicative programs. I am happy to lead this charge."
China, in particular, has been an ongoing source of annoyance when it comes to UNFPA funding.
"Previous federal appropriations have stipulated that the UNFPA receive no funds, or that any funding received could not be used in China. In the most recent appropriations legislation, $35,000,000 was allocated towards this program."
The issue has long been on Salmon's radar screen, according to the 2014 Almanac of American Politics. "During his first stint in the House, Salmon served on the International Relations Committee, since renamed the foreign Affairs Committee. He took a keen interest in issues related to China, criticizing the communist country for human rights violations."