Speaker of the House John Boehner chose Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) to be the Republican delegate to the United Nations. Buerkle is a critic of the UN and the Obama administration. According to The Post Standard, she co-sponsored legislation threatening to withhold funding for the organization. She’s also a strong supporter of Israel and is vehemently opposed to the Palestinian statehood vote.
Buerkle said her concerns about the U.N. focus on accountability, and the legislation she co-sponsored does not seek to diminish the role of the organization.
“I think the intent of the bill is to make our contribution to the United Nations voluntary instead of mandatory,” Buerkle said. “If they were spending the money that was not consistent with the principles of the United States, we would withhold the money.”
One of her top priorities is the role of the U.N. in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which she said would be derailed by a Palestinian statehood vote.
“I think a lot of the U.N.’s hostilities toward Israel are a concern,” Buerkle said. “This (possible vote) is an attempt to circumvent the peace process. Everyone agrees both parties need to sit down at the table and figure out a peace process that will work in the Middle East.”
Buerkle and other congressional conservatives say the U.S. should withhold some $500 million in aid to the Palestinians if they insist on going forward with the statehood vote at the U.N.
The position is largely symbolic, but Politico reported that some are scratching their heads, wondering why President Obama went along with her nomination. Maybe his mind is on other things, like the Solyndra and LightSquared scandals and Operation Fast and Furious. Not to mention the lousy economy.
Donald Douglas has more on the push for a vote on Palestinian statehood.