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Graham helps kick off AIPAC with UN funding cut threat

Graham helps kick off AIPAC with UN funding cut threat
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse to advance appropriations bills in June, July The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  The Memo: The GOP's war is already over — Trump won MORE (R-S.C.) helped kick off a prominent pro-Israel lobbying group's annual event in Washington on Sunday by threatening to cut funding to the United Nations.

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"All the money that goes in to support the State Department comes through my committee," Graham said kicking off the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) opening session, according to Bloomberg.

"I’m gonna put the United Nations on notice," said Graham, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, adding that he would go after its funding if the organization "marginalized" Israel, the news service added.

Lawmakers have protested the Palestinian Authority's bid to join the International Criminal Court, which is investigating possible war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza last year. The U.N. has said the Palestinians will become a member in April.

Graham and Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinHouse panel advances bipartisan retirement savings bill Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap MORE (D-Md.) kicked off the first session on Sunday, multiple outlets reported, to illustrate the bipartisan congressional support for Israel, despite controversy over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Tuesday address to Congress, which came at the invitation of Republicans without White House input.

"The circumstances surrounding the invitation [to Netanyahu] were not what they should have been. We all understand that. But don’t lose focus. The bad guy is Iran," Cardin said to applause, Bloomberg reported.

"Many journalists have written the story that this is a relationship in crisis," AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr said, according to Bloomberg. "This is not a crisis. Frankly, it's up to us to not let it become a crisis."

U.N. Ambassador Samantha PowerSamantha PowerThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Trump, Cheney trade jabs The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Biden sales pitch heads to Virginia and Louisiana Washington's split with Turkey widens — but it is up to Turkey to heal the rift MORE and national security adviser Susan Rice are slated to speak at the event, though President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryChina emitted more greenhouse gasses than US, developed world combined in 2019: analysis Overnight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process MORE will not. Obama, Biden and Kerry will also not be present at Netanyahu's address Tuesday.

Other major speakers at the event include House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' McConnell alma mater criticizes him for 1619 comments McConnell amid Trump criticism: 'I'm looking forward, not backward' MORE (R-Ky.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezJuan Williams: A breakthrough on immigration? Biden rebuffs Democrats, keeps refugee admissions at 15,000 Bottom line MORE (D-N.J.).