The Helms Diet

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WASHINGTON: As the U.S. applies Jesse Helms’ formula to squaring its bill with the U.N., Congress is telling the international organization to cut out the fat before it cuts the check. Under a broad foreign affairs bill, arrears will be paid out over a three-year period, but only if the U.N. moves to cut its budget and staff by 1,000 workers. The U.N. must also agree to accept $819 million as full payment even though the organization contends the U.S. owes $1.3 billion. Barring snags, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to approve the legislation today. But a number of U.N. members are still up in arms, not least because if the U.S. pays less, somebody else will have to make up the difference.