October 5, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The political tennis match over the funding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) entered a new round today, with the House Foreign Affairs Committee approving a bill that would defund the organization. H.R. 2059, introduced by Rep. Renee Ellmers, passed in a 23-17 vote.

UNFPA is controversial due to its proven complicity in China’s brutal one-child policy.

George Bush had gutted funding to the UN agency after his administration investigated UNFPA-assisted Chinese regions. The Reagan administration had also withheld funding from UNFPA.

Shortly after stepping into office, however, Obama restored $50 million in annual aid to UNFPA with no comment about the China allegations.

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In remarks before the committee, Rep. Chris Smith accused UNFPA of being “an organization that supports, plans, implements, defends and whitewashes the Chinese government’s brutal program.”

“For over 30 years, the UNFPA has consistently heaped praise on China’s population control program and repeatedly urged other countries to embrace similar policies,” he said.

“I strongly support H.R. 2059 sponsored by Renee Ellmers and thank her for standing up for the women and children in China.”

Smith’s remarks were echoed by other legislators, including Rep. Tom Marino, Rep. Mike Kelly, Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Rep. Ellmers.

In a press release announcing the passage of the pro-life bill, bill sponsor Rep. Ellmers said, “Whether or not you believe the US should be borrowing money from China to fund UN projects in China, U.S. taxpayers should not be forced to fund programs that violate provisions of the ‘Kemp-Kasten’ amendment which bans U.S. aid to organizations involved in the management of coercive family planning programs.

“If the Chinese wish to do such things, they should not expect funding from the United States tax payer.” 

Supporters of the bill say it will save $400 million in taxpayer dollars over ten years. The legislation was the winning entry in the YOUCUT competition earlier this year, in which ordinary Americans were asked to vote on which programs they would like to see cut.