Yesterday afternoon the Senate defeated an amendment to the Veterans Affairs funding bill that would have taken money U.S. contributions to UN peacekeeping and other UN programs to offset costs for extended benefits to U.S. Veterans. The amendment, which was sponsored by Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn, was defeated by a 66-32 vote. Nine Republicans voted to defeat the amendment, and one Democrat (Evan Bayh of Indiana), voted in favor.
The State Department came out vigorously against this proposal, saying that it made little sense to cut our contributions to the IAEA, which is monitoring nuclear activity in Iran and North Korea, the UN, which is organizing elections in Iraq and Afghanistan, or UN Peacekeeping, which has 17 on-going peacekeeping operations around the world. Thankfully, the senate rejected the false choice between these important American national security priorities and support for American veterans.