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Saturday, February 5, 2011

You Cut Update - 4 Feb 2011

Eric Cantor (R-VA), the House Majority Leader, reports last week's winning YouCut item, H.R. 359, passed the House in a 239 - 160 vote. This important spending reduction bill will save taxpayers $617 million by eliminating the Presidential Election Fund, including taxpayer financing of political party conventions.

It was a memorable moment to watch your House of Representatives vote in support of legislation directly backed by the YouCut community. Each week, your votes on the YouCut website will bring legislation to the House floor for a vote. Your support of the YouCut program will serve as a reminder to all those representing you in Washington that we need to get spending under control, so that we can grow the economy, create jobs and get people back to work.

Go to YouCut, vote for the You Cut of your choice and sign up for e-mail updates.

Obtain Refund of Funds Owed to the U.S. by the U.N. Tax Equalization Fund
Approximate $180 million in one time savings
As of December 31, 2009, the United Nations reported that it was holding almost $180 million that the U.S. had overpaid into the U.N.’s Tax Equalization Fund (TEF). It appears that the U.N. is still holding the U.S. funds because the Administration has not instructed the U.N. on how it wishes to dispose of them. By instructing the U.N. to return those funds to the U.S. we can generate savings for American taxpayers. In addition, the Administration should also demand that the process for Tax Equalization Fund withholdings be revised to prevent (or at least reduce) future discrepancies leading to such large surpluses.

Obtain Refund of Unspent Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities
Approximately $86 million in one-time savings
The United Nations has been holding approximately between $210 and $240 million in cash reserves from closed peacekeeping operations. These funds have been accumulating since the early 1990s. Successive U.N. Secretaries-General have requested authority to maintain these unspent funds in a Peacekeeping Reserve Fund, which allows them to cover shortfalls in peacekeeping and, at times, the general budget. However, U.N. regulations require that unspent funds from liquidated missions be returned to Member States within 12 months (with a potential extension to four years in order to meet receipts submitted by troop contributing countries). The U.S.-share of these unspent funds currently totals approximately $86 million. The U.S. should act to demand the reimbursement of these unspent funds.

Prohibit Economic Assistance to Countries Who Hold More Than $50 Billion in U.S. Debt
Savings of potentially $46 million over ten years
Of America's $14 trillion national debt, approximately $4.3 trillion is held by foreign countries. Over the past year, foreign holding of U.S. debt has increased by over $650 billion. Ironically, we actually provide economic assistance in the form of foreign aid to some of our largest creditors. For example, in 2010 U.S. taxpayers provided approximately $4.7 million in economic assistance for countries, including China, that hold in excess of $50 billion in U.S. government debt (this excludes funds for environmental programs). In short, Congress is borrowing money from foreign countries and turning around using some of that money to provide them with economic grants. This proposal would prohibit any economic foreign aid to a country that holds $50 billion or more in U.S. debt.

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