House Unanimously Adopts Kelly Amendment to Ban Funding for UN Arms Trade Treaty
WASHINGTON — Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced an amendment last night to H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (NDAA), to prohibit federal funding for the implementation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) for one year. The amendment was adopted unanimously by the House of Representatives by a voice vote and included in the final passage of the NDAA, which Rep. Kelly voted to support.
Floor remarks by Rep. Kelly:
“Over the last year, I have been joined by over 140 bipartisan members of this body to express deep concerns with the ATT and to urge its rejection.
“First, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty undermines our Second Amendment rights by omitting the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms and imposing a national ‘responsibility’ to prevent firearms ‘diversion,’ thus opening the door to new gun control measures.
“Secondly, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty undermines our sovereignty by imposing vague, readily politicized requirements on the United States and inviting United Nations-led investigations into what U.S. policy makers knew or should have known regarding arms transfers that allegedly violate the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
“Ultimately, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty will stop the good from doing good without stopping the bad from doing bad. As then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, the U.S. maintains the ‘gold standard’ of arms export controls. My amendment upholds our current policies as well as our enduring values.”
NOTE: The ATT opened for national signatures on June 3, 2013, and will enter into force for its signatories 90 days after the 50th nation-state has ratified the treaty. In order to take domestic effect, the ATT must be signed by the president, receive the advice and consent of the Senate, and be the subject of implementing legislation by the Congress.
Rep. Kelly is a leader of the national movement to stop the ATT. On March 15, 2013, he introduced H. Con. Res. 23, a bipartisan concurrent resolution expressing opposition to the treaty, which currently has 146 co-sponsors in the House and 36 supporters in the Senate.