But under legislation sponsored by Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the administration would be directed to ask for the money back. It would also "use the voice and vote of the United States" to get the UN to reform the TEF assessment process "to reduce the repeated discrepancies between TEF income and expenditures."

The bill would also tell the administration to instruct the UN to return any extra funds each year, and to withhold $179 million of the U.S. biennial contribution to the UN's budget until the Secretary of State certifies that the UN has reimbursed the U.S. for that amount.

Ros-Lehtinen's committee held a hearing in late January on urgent UN problems that need to be addressed by Congress. In a statement prepared for that hearing, she said she would soon prepare legislation that conditions U.S. payments to the UN on "real, sweeping reforms, including moving the UN regular budget to a voluntary funding basis."

Her statement said the United States pays more than 20 percent of the UN's annual budget, which meant a contribution of more than $6 billion in 2009, but said the UN has taken several actions against U.S. interest in the last few years. Among other things, she said the nation pays for the UN's "anti-Israel activities, including the UN Human Rights Council," which she called a "rogues' gallery dominated by human rights violators."