Nikki Haley, Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE’s pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Wednesday blasted the UN Security Council's recent vote to condemn Israel, sharing the president-elect's skepticism about America’s large financial commitment to the world body.
During her Senate confirmation hearing, the Republican South Carolina governor labeled the December vote, made possible through an American abstention, as a “failure” by the UN.
Promising to "never abstain when the United Nations takes any action that comes in direct conflict with the interests and values of the United States," she went on to question why America shoulders 22 percent of the body’s budget.
“Nowhere has the UN's failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel,” she said during opening remarks.
“Any honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers … are we getting what we paid for?”
Haley is far from alone in her criticism of the vote, which drew bitter denouncements from Republicans and some Democrats, who accused President Obama of backstabbing one of America’s strongest allies.
It also prompted Republican Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMatthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' Professor tells Cruz that Texas's voter ID law is racist Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks MORE (Texas) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden meets with lawmakers amid domestic agenda panic The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles Graham tries to help Trump and McConnell bury the hatchet MORE (S.C.) to pen a bill that would restrict American funding to the United Nations until that resolution is repealed.
Graham, Haley’s home-state senator, introduced her to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee along with fellow South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottBiden says he will review executive actions after police reform talks fail Lawmakers say police reform talks are over DOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries MORE.
Her skepticism of the UN echoes Trump, who blasted the institution as “obsolete” in an interview over the weekend. He previously called it a “waste of time and money” and “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”
He’s also sharply criticized the body since the December vote on Israel, promising changes once he takes office.
Haley did not go nearly as far as Trump, framing her mission as repairing America's standing in the body, which would help the country improve its standing in the world.
"At the UN, as elsewhere, the United States is the indispensable voice of freedom. It is time that we once again find that voice," she said, going on to call for "fundamental changes" at the UN.
Haley also sought during her remarks to preempt one of her largest stumbling blocks to a nomination.
While she’s considered a rising star within her party, she lacks the international experience of many of her predecessors who came to the position after careers in the Foreign Service.
Haley's experience is limited to South Carolina, first in the state legislature before the governor’s mansion.
“International diplomacy is a new area for me. There is much I am learning about the intricacies of the UN and its associated agencies … but diplomacy itself is not new to me,” she said.
“In fact, I would suggest there is nothing more important to a governor's success than her ability to unite those with different backgrounds, viewpoints and objectives behind a common purpose."