The U.S. plays a monumental role in the international community. It is the second largest financial contributor to the United Nations and is one of five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
Despite our influential role, Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers submitted a bill titled, American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017, to end the U.S.’s membership in the U.N.
Removing our presence from the U.N. is not how we as a nation should maintain foreign relations.
The bill calls for the withdrawal of all funding of “peacekeeping operations,” repealing membership and participation in the U.N.’s educational, scientific and cultural organization, repealing the U.N.’s Environment Program Participation Act, leaving the World Health Organization and ending participation in any U.N. conventions and agreements.
If passed, the bill will force the U.N. to remove its headquarters from New York.
Realistically, the bill has little chance of passing. In 2015, Rogers attempted to force a similar bill through the House, however it was quickly shut down.
Unlike 2015 though, the current Congress, which is controlled by conservatives, now has a Republican president to push through whatever agendas it pleases.
Hopefully, the new bill will immediately cause a universal eye-roll in the House, leading the Committee on Foreign Affairs to prevent the idea from ever reaching the Senate.
Even if the bill never gets off the ground, its mere presence is disconcerting. Rogers knew this isolationist agenda failed last time and yet was convinced things had changed enough to give it a fighting chance this session.
What he sees in Congress simply reflects what the public persona emanates. People are scared, and that fear is driving them to adopt rash and solitary measures.
Foreign relations is playing a key part in President Donald Trump’s new administration. His executive order to block immigrants from seven countries led to protests throughout the country.
People are speaking out. As long as that continues, there will not be any major issues in Congress. After all, the president does not re-elect our Senators and Representatives. That power resides solely with the people.
And the administration is quickly realizing there are conservatives who refuse to cave to the extreme executive orders seeping out of the White House.
“This is ridiculous,” Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) said in an interview with the Washington Post. “I guess I understand what his intention is, but unfortunately the order appears to have been rushed through without full consideration. You know, there are many, many nuances of immigration policy that can be life or death for many innocent, vulnerable people around the world.”
Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker, Justin Amash, Dan Newhouse and Carlos Curbelo along with 10 other Congressmen and women have spoken out against the handling of foreign affairs under Trump.
However, the majority have remained silent.
Ultimately, we have to have faith in the core of our government. We have to believe the power still resides in the hands of the people. Our politicians want one thing above all else: to be re-elected. They will say and do whatever they need to do to gain those votes.
The world needs the U.N. and the U.N. needs the U.S.
The U.S. provides $594 million, or 22 percent, of the U.N.’s budget, according to the Heritage Foundation.
It provides services to the suffering and poor, the oppressed and the deprived. Without the influence of the U.S., there is a very real possibility the U.N. will have to severely cut back on the services it provides.
We cannot be responsible for the repercussions that will follow our removal. The U.S. must stay with the U.N., and these isolationist agendas cannot be encouraged.
Breanne Williams is a senior majoring in mass communications.