February 9, 2011

Media Contacts

Adam Sarvana (202) 225-2435 (Grijalva)

Tim Schumann (202) 225-4755 (Ellison)

Washington, D.C.– Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison, co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), today hailed the defeat of a Republican bill to take back dues already paid to United Nations (UN) and limit future participation in the organization.Despite false GOP advertising as a deficit reduction measure, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill would have no effect on the federal budget.

The bill called for President Obama to direct $180 million held in the UN Tax Equalization Fund (TEF) back to the United States.The UN has already allocated $100 million of that money to security improvement measures at the U.N. headquarters in New York City. The remaining $80 million will go to future U.S. dues, reducing the amount of future appropriations.Both the State Department and New York Police Department had called the security upgrades critical.

This is the second legislative victory for the caucus in 24 hours, following the defeat of a PATRIOT Act extension measure yesterday.The CPC actively urged Members to oppose the measure alongside Democratic House leadership.

“In yet another blatant attempt by the Republican Party to pander to its tiny base of support, Republicans would effectively undermine U.S. foreign policy as well as the security of our homeland while failing to create a single new job,” Rep. Ellison said after the vote. Ellison spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives against the bill during debate.

“This was another in a string of pointless exercises by Republican leaders more interested in their base than the rest of the American people,” Grijalva said. “Nonpartisan experts had already told them this wouldn’t really save a dime, and they put their pet issues over job creation anyway. We need substance over symbolism. This isn’t the right way to manage the people’s business, and I’m glad my colleagues made the right decision.”

As with the PATRIOT Act extension, the bill was brought up on suspension of the rules and required a two-thirds vote to pass. The bill received 259 votes, 18 short of the 287 required if every Member is present, and failed to pass.