On Thursday afternoon, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney doubled down on the Trump administration's plans to cut funding to the United Nations and other foreign agencies, as laid out in the administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018.
“We’re absolutely reducing funding to the U.N. and to various foreign aid programs…the president said hundreds of times, 'I’m going to spend less money overseas and more money at home,'” Mulvaney said during a press conference.
Mulvaney’s comments come after a spokesperson for the U.N. defended the organization’s value upon reviewing President Donald Trump’s proposed $1.1 trillion budget.
“The international community is facing enormous global challenges that can only be addressed by a strong and effective multilateral system, of which the United Nations remains the fundamental pillar,” a spokesperson for the Secretary-General said in a statement to Fox News.
The Trump administration stated its intention to “reduce or end funding for international organizations whose missions do not substantially advance U.S. foreign policy interests,” in its budget summary released early Thursday morning. The administration did not give specifics on how much it intends to slash funding, citing only "deep cuts to foreign aid," but clearly stated it will eliminate payments to the United Nations’ climate change programs and other affiliated agencies.
The president and his administration have made no secret about where they stand on climate regulations. Mulvaney said Thursday the White House did not want to waste citizens' money on the cause.
The U.N. spokesperson identified the organization’s belief that more than military spending is needed to address the crises facing global citizens today. While acknowledging the United States’ generous contributions over the years, the U.N. statement cautioned a reduction in funding could have long-term consequences: “Abrupt funding cuts can force the adoption of ad hoc measures that will undermine the impact of longer-term reform efforts,” the statement read.
As previously reported by FOX Business, the Trump administration has had its sights set on the United Nations for some time. Trump’s appointee for U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, shares the president’s view that the United States is contributing a “disproportionate” amount to the United Nations. On Thursday Haley issued a statement saying "the U.N. spends more money than it should, and in many ways it places a much larger financial burden on the United States than on other countries."
The U.S. contributes more to the U.N. than any other nation, comprising 22% of the regular budget and more than 28% of the peacekeeping budget.
The president has been vocal about the need for other countries to step up and the pay their fair share to international governing bodies, including NATO as well.
Meanwhile, Trump has made it clear that he intends to place a larger emphasis on security at home, tweeting Thursday:
The budget blueprint calls for a $54 billion increase in defense spending for 2018, a 7 percent increase in funding for Homeland Security programs and a request for funds to begin the development of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.