By Jamie Crawford
Two powerful Republicans in the House of Representatives released restrictions Friday on the disbursement of U.S. assistance to Palestinians that the congresswomen had been blocking in Congress.
Rep. Kay Granger, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, said she was releasing a hold that had been in place since August on all of the $147 million in congressionally appropriated money for the Palestinians. House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen partially lifted her block for more than half of the funds to be sent.
By CNN National Security Producer Jamie Crawford
A key U.S. congresswoman wants to change how the United States funds the United Nations, which she accuses of becoming a "bully pulpit for third-rate dictators and pariah states."
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called for the reforms in a news conference this week and introduced the United Nations Transparency, Accountability and Reform Act. She said new conditions on U.S. funding to the global body are needed as leverage to force reform in its operations.
While the United States is responsible for funding 22% of the United Nations' yearly budget, the vast majority of countries at the General Assembly pay "next to nothing" Ros-Lehtinen said, but still form a majority to adopt budgets while "sticking the U.S. and other big donors with the tab."