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Washington, D.C. –  House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul issued the following statement in reaction to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) General Conference accepting the U.S. membership proposal put forward by the Biden administration. UNESCO admitted “Palestine” as a full-fledged member state in 2011. This triggered a cutoff of U.S. funding, and the Biden administration is now choosing to waive longstanding U.S. law prohibiting the U.S. government from contributing funds to a UN organization that recognizes “Palestine” as a full member. UNESCO spends time and funds deliberating over issues like whether baguette bread should be added to its Cultural Heritage list.

“The Biden administration’s irresponsible push to rejoin UNESCO puts U.S. taxpayers on the hook for over $612 million in back payments and future payments without advancing any national security interests. These funds should be spent on advancing priorities like countering the Chinese Communist Party’s global malign influence or countering fentanyl efforts in more effective ways. It is shameful the Biden administration is willing to spend taxpayer dollars in such a frivolous way.”