The first report was an eye-opener. The OMB calculated that U.S. contributions totaled $4.115 billion in 2004 and $5.327 billion in 2005. The State Department had estimated 2004 contributions at “well over $3 billion” — only about 75 percent of the actual amount.

For the next two years, Congress required the State Department to compile the report. But State implausibly reported that the U.S. had reduced its U.N. contributions in FY 2006 and, again, in FY 2007.

In response, Congress tasked OMB to compile the report. According to OMB, FY 2010 marked the third consecutive year in which U.S. contributions reached record highs. In FY 2010, they exceeded $7.691 billion — more than $1.3 billion higher than FY 2009’s record of $6.347 billion.