Senator Lee Introduces Act to Defund and Depart UN

December 6, 2023


WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Disengaging Entirely from the United Nations Debacle (DEFUND) Act, which calls for the United States' complete withdrawal from the United Nations (UN). This legislation confronts imperative issues of national sovereignty and fiscal accountability, which have been persistent points of criticism against the United States involvement in the UN. Representative Chip Roy (R-TX 21) spearheads the companion bill in the House of Representatives.


"No more blank checks for the United Nations. Americans' hard-earned dollars have been funneled into initiatives that fly in the face of our values –enabling tyrants, betraying allies, and spreading bigotry," said Sen. Mike Lee. "With the DEFUND Act, we're stepping away from this debacle. If we engage with the UN in the future, it will be on our terms, with the full backing of the Senate and an iron-clad escape clause."


Of the bill, Rep. Chip Roy said, “This year, the United Nations' corruption, and its despicable, brazen political agenda have been on full display.


From UNRWA actively protecting Hamas and acting against our ally Israel, delayed condemning Hamas, to China being elected to the “Human Rights Council," to the propagation of climate hysteria, covering for China's forced abortion and sterilization programs, the UN's decades-old, internal rot once again raises the questions of why the United States is even still a member or why we're wasting billions — indeed, $12.5 billion in 2021 — every year on it.


“The UN doesn’t deserve one single dime of American taxpayer money or one bit of our support; we should defund it and leave immediately. I am proud to lead this critical effort alongside Mike Lee and Mike Rogers.”


Key Elements of the DEFUND Act:


  • Repeals critical acts that bind the U.S. to the UN, such as the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and the United Nations Headquarters Agreement Act.
  • Ceases all forms of U.S. financial support to the UN, including assessed and voluntary contributions.
  • Prohibits any U.S. involvement in UN peacekeeping operations.
  • Revokes diplomatic immunity for UN officials within the United States.
  • Formalizes withdrawal from the World Health Organization and other UN conventions.
  • Sets stringent conditions for any future engagement with the UN, requiring Senate approval with explicit withdrawal provisions.


The introduction of the DEFUND Act comes in response to years of unchecked bureaucratic expansion and financial misuse by the UN at the expense of American taxpayers. Senator Lee's legislation reflects his commitment to upholding the ideals of fiscal responsibility and self-determination that are the bedrock of the United States.



For bill text, click HERE
For a one-pager, click HERE.