House looks to trim U.N. funds or foreign aid next week

House Republican leadership is looking to vote next week to cut either U.S. spending on the United Nations or on foreign aid, the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced Wednesday.

There are three options on the table posted at the GOP’s “You Cut” website. The public can vote for its preferred option, and Cantor has pledged to bring the winner to the floor for a vote.

The first option is surely to be the most controversial: it would forbid the U.S. from spending aid on any foreign country that holds more than $50 million in U.S. government debt. Cantor’s office states that the U.S. in 2010 provided $4.7 million for countries, like China, that hold more than that amount in U.S. treasuries.

The cut would save $46 million over 10 years, his office states.

The last two options involve seeking refunds from the United Nations for unspent contributions.

One option would order the U.S. to reclaim $180 million sitting in a U.N. tax equalization fund, which Cantor’s office says has not been repaid simply because the administration has not sought repayment.

The final option would demand repayment of funds left over from closed peacekeeping operations. This would recoup $86 million in funds that the U.N. has been seeking to keep for future expenses.