I must take strong exception to the mischaracterization and distortion of my views regarding the United Nations by Patricia Parker in her Jan. 28 letter.
Ms. Parker essentially accuses me of being a strong supporter of the UN. Baloney. While I believe the UN can be a valuable forum, such as during the Cuban missile crisis, I also believe it is in need of serious structural reform.
In that regard, this Congress passed landmark legislation last year to reform the UN and rein it in. First, we prohibited U.S. contributions from going to international population assistance organizations that promote or perform abortions.
Second, we prohibited any U.S. funds from being used to add or maintain any world Heritage Site in the U.S. Third, we prohibited U.S. funds from being used for any peacekeeping mission in which U.S. forces are under foreign command without explicit presidential approval. Finally, we enacted the Helms-Biden plan that requires deep cuts in the U.S. share of the UN peacekeeping budget and deep cuts in the U.S. share of the UN regular budget, saving taxpayers $200 million a year. To receive even these reduced amounts, the UN must open its books to the General Accounting Office so that any waste, fraud and abuse can be investigated and exposed, Also, under Helms-Biden, the UN will be barred from establishing a standing military or seeking the power to collect its own taxes. If the UN refuses to adopt these reforms, it won't get any more of our money.
I wholeheartedly supported every one of these measures. And when you consider who is sitting in the White House, getting all this enacted is a major achievement.
But not only did Ms. Parker distort my views on the UN, but she's just plain wrong to say that I interrupted her at the town hall meeting. A review of the meeting transcript shows that it was Ms. Parker who interrupted me.
She asked a specific question and before I could get even two sentences out of my mouth, she cut me off with another question on the UN wanting gun confiscation. I then proceeded to answer both her questions in detail, including my strong opposition to any attempt by the UN to interfere in any way with our constitutional rights.
Heck, I wouldn't even let our own government institute a gun-confiscation plan, much less the UN. And anyone who is familiar with my unwavering support for our Second Amendment rights knows that I would never confuse the UN Charter with the U.S. Constitution.
At the end of my response, most members of the audience applauded, including Ms. Parker. So I am really quite mystified that an apparently satisfactory answer led her to write such an intemperate letter. I hope this sets the record straight.
J.D. Hayworth, Member of Congress