Republican Bill Seeks to Defund World Economic Forum and Block ‘Reset On Our Way of Life’
Republican Bill Seeks to Defund World Economic Forum and Block ‘Reset On Our Way of Life’

By Tom Ozimek

A handful of House Republicans have proposed a bill that would prohibit American tax dollars from funding the World Economic Forum (WEF) while criticizing the transnational organization and its goals as misguided, elitist, and “anti-American.”

Called the Defund Davos Act, the measure would prohibit any funds available to the U.S. Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development—or any other department or agency for that matter—from providing funding for the WEF, according to a Jan. 19 press release.

“Forcing American Taxpayers to fund annual ski trips for insular, global elitists is absurd—not to mention reprehensible,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement. “The World Economic Forum doesn’t deserve one cent of American funding, and it’s past time we defund Davos.”

Joining Mr. Perry in co-sponsoring the measure are Reps. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.), Paul Gosal (R-Az.), Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.), Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.), and Matt Rosendale (R-Mt.).

“The Defund Davos Act would ensure that U.S. tax dollars are not funding the World Economic Forum and their reset on our way of life,” Mr. Tiffany said in a statement.

The “reset” is an apparent reference to a set of ideas advanced by WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab in a book he co-authored called “The Great Reset,” which he summarized in an op-ed as a globally co-ordinated effort to “revamp all aspects of our societies and economies” in which every country, including the United States, “must participate.”

A police officer stands on the roof of a hotel and monitors the area in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

The Great Reset

Mr. Schwab described the Great Reset agenda as having three main parts: one is to “steer the market toward fairer outcomes,” including by withdrawing support for fossil fuels and possibly imposing wealth taxes.

The second part of the agenda, per Mr. Schwab, is for measures to ensure that investment is channeled to the achievement of “shared goals, such as equality and sustainability,” including in “green” infrastructure, while creating a carrot-and-stick system of incentives to force industries to meet environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics.

The third part of the Great Reset agenda would be to “harness the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” such as artificial intelligence to “support the public good” and address health and social challenges by, for instance, creating mechanisms for tracing infections or tracking vaccination status.

During this year’s WEF meetings (which ran from Jan. 15-19), Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, a longtime social justice campaigner who has served as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), urged for the broad adoption of biometric digital ID cards that could be used by governments to track “who actually got a vaccination or not.” remove

People walk down the stairs at the Congress Hall during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 18, 2024. The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is taking place in Davos from Jan. 15 until Jan. 19, 2024.(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Republican Objections

The Republicans object to U.S. funding of WEF because they say it’s a forum that allows global elites and leaders of countries like China and Iran to push measures that are against the interests of the United States.

The United States has spent millions of dollars over the years to fund the WEF and its annual conference of global elites, where the Republicans said discussions include “dystopian ideas like global solidarity and eating bugs to solve world hunger.”

The WEF and its leaders have, as Mr. Schwab has outlined in “The Great Reset,” advocated for a top-down approach to managing various threats, including by rejigging capitalism to distribute its benefits more evenly and strengthening the global architecture of multinational institutions.

Critics have said the WEF represents an attempt by international organizations to undermine national sovereignty by centralizing power and decision-making at the expense of individual freedoms and local communities.

Concerns have also been raised that the solutions proposed by the forum involve a high degree of economic interventionism by governments and social engineering by elites who critics say want to foist progressive values and beliefs on traditional-minded populations.

The Republican proposal to defund the WEF was introduced on the final day of the organization’s annual conference, which wrapped up on Jan. 19 in Davos, Switzerland.

WEF Worried About Trump

Observers have said that at this year’s annual summit in Davos, former President Donald Trump’s record-setting victory on Jan. 15 in Iowa became the talk of the town—and the focus of concern.

One of the WEF conference attendees was European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, who has been openly critical of the former president.

“We are all concerned about it because the United States is the largest economy, the largest defense country in the world, and has been a beacon of democracy, with all its upside and downside,” she said when asked about the upcoming U.S. election during an interview with Bloomberg on Jan. 17.

“We have to be extremely attentive,” she added.

Ms. Lagarde, who served as the former head of the International Monetary Fund, earlier described President Trump as a clear “threat” to Europe. She made the remarks during a recent interview with France 2, citing President Trump’s stance on tariffs, NATO, and climate change.

On the final day of the WEF conference, Ms. Lagarde suggested that the most effective strategy in case President Trump wins his comeback bid for the White House would be to go on the offense.

“The best defense, if that’s the way we want to look at it, is attack,” she said during a panel discussion on Jan. 19.

“To attack properly, you need to be strong at home. So being strong means having a strong, deep market, having a real single market.”

President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Christine Lagarde attends a session on the closing day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on Jan. 19, 2024. (Fabrice Coffrini /AFP)

Philipp Hildebrand, former head of the Swiss central bank and current vice chairman of BlackRock, expressed similar views on the upcoming U.S. election.

“You know, we’ve been there before; we survived it, so we’ll see what it means,” Mr. Hildebrand told Bloomberg in Davos. “Certainly, from a European perspective, from a kind of globalist, Atlanticist perspective, it’s of course a great concern.”

Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the UK, expressed similar concerns about the threat that a Trump presidency might pose, believing it could impact not only the United States but also other countries.

“I’m worried about the threat of a Trump presidency,” he told CNBC at the Swiss ski resort on Jan. 17.

For his part, President Trump has traveled to Davos twice, in 2018 and 2020, to attend the WEF meetings.

In his keynote address in 2020, he touted his protectionist trade policies and America’s position as the world’s largest oil and gas producer.

He also openly expressed his skepticism toward climate change, taking aim at what he called “alarmists” and “radical socialists.”

Emel Akan contributed to this report.

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