WASHINGTON, DC ( - The US Senate voted on Tuesday to approve a State Department funding bill that pays back dues to the United Nations, but also includes a ban on giving US funds to organizations that promote or provide abortions overseas.

      President Bill Clinton said he would immediately veto the bill because it contained the abortion provision, even though it would scuttle UN funding for another year. The US has been assessed $926 million in unpaid dues that cover several years. Congressional Republicans urged Clinton to sign the bill as approved because it contains several important reforms of the State Department and foreign operations, and might be the only way to provide UN funding in this election year.

      Supporters of the abortion ban warned Clinton that if he vetoes this bill, they will attach the same amendment to his request for $18 billion for the International Monetary Fund that he has made a cornerstone of his foreign policy this year.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT:To subscribe to Catholic World News Service, available daily by e-mail, click here .

April 30, 1998 volume 9, no. 84         DAILY CATHOLIC