House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Howard Berman (D-Calif.) said the Congressional Budget Office found that the bill would not save any money. He also argued that the U.N. needs the money to improve security at its New York headquarters, that these security improvements are an obligation of the host country, and that pulling money out would put the U.S. in arrears.
"So we're not saving money, we're spurning the important security requests, and we are going back into a pattern of arrearages that undermines our efforts at the U.N.," Berman said.
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) summarized his assessment hardly. "It's stupid," he said. "Vote 'no' on stupid."
A New York Republican, Rep. Peter King, also argued against the bill and called for the money to be used for security improvements. "This is a matter of life and death," he said. "This is a serious matter."
Supporters of the bill, led by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), have argued that the U.S. has been overpaying into the U.N.'s income tax reimbursement fund for several years now. She says the Obama administration has failed to reclaim that money, which the U.N. now wants to use for other reasons such as security improvements.
The House will hold a roll call vote on the bill later this afternoon.