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Barack Obama is setting up a direct confrontation with the U.S. Congress, proposing in his budget for 2013 that the U.S. taxpayers give almost $80 million to a United Nations organization that Congress has banned from receiving any of those funds.
But there’s apparently not going to be an explanation about the issue from the White House now.
Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, today had come to the daily news briefing with press secretary Jay Carney prepared to ask about the issue on which George Will based a commentary.
However, Kinsolving was not allowed to ask any questions. Instead, Carney allowed ABC, Reuters and Bloomberg to ask a bulk of the questions.
Kinsolving had wanted to ask, “Columnist George Will reports that President Obama’s 2013 budget seeks $78 million for UNESCO. How does this square with the vote in Congress to cut off funding of UNESCO?”
In fact, it doesn’t.
It was in 1994 that Congress directed that no U.S. funds should go to any affiliated organization of the U.N. that grants membership to an organization that is not a state.
In Will’s column, he wrote that despite the mandate from Congress, which is responsible for generate all tax-spending bills that become law, Obama’s 2013 budget is seeking $78.9 million for the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
That’s even though UNESCO last year granted membership status to “Palestine.”
Although there are waiver provisions in most laws restricting executive discretion in foreign relations, the 107 national delegations that voted to extend membership to Palestine were told there is no such provision in the pertinent law.
So at that time, the U.S. cut off funding – 22 percent of the UNESCO budget.
Now the White House is saying, “The Department of State intends to work with Congress to seek legislation that would provide authority to waive restrictions on paying the U.S. assessed contributions to UNESCO,” according to Will.
“The administration regards the 18-year-old statute as an evanescent inconvenience – that Congress will obediently tug its forelock and grant a waiver provision enabling the executive branch to slip the leash of law,” he wrote.
Kinsolving also had a second question prepared: Whether Obama would like to see the $1 million donated by media personality Bill Maher on behalf of Obama’s re-election returned.
It was the second time Carney has declined to allow that question.
The dispute arose over controversial comments from conservative talk show host and radio icon Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh used a derogatory term to describe a 30-year-old woman who appeared before a Democrat congressional hearing to lobby for free contraceptives for herself. She had complained such services were costing people situated similarly to her $3,000 and that was too much.
Obama condemned the comments by Limbaugh.
The issue then arose over Maher, who recently donated the money to a committee working to re-elect Obama. But he is well-known from deriding women with derogatory terms.
Concerned Women for America described Maher as a “vile misogynist.”
CWA charged Obama with a double-standard for his supporters and opponents. CWA noted Maher reportedly called Sarah Palin a “dumb twat” and described Palin and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann as “boobs” and “two bimbos.”