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Rep. Kelly Condemns Signing of UN Arms Trade Treaty
Rep. Kelly: “A tragic day for our national sovereignty”
WASHINGTON — Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today after Secretary of State John Kerry signed the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) at a special ceremony in New York City. On May 30, 2013, Rep. Kelly submitted a bipartisan letter with 130 co-signers from Congress to both President Obama and Secretary Kerry urging them to reject the treaty. Rep. Kelly will lead a Special Order in opposition to the treaty’s signing this evening on the floor of the House of Representatives.
“Today is a tragic day for our cherished national sovereignty. Despite opposition from both parties in Congress and outcry from the American public, this administration has agreed to bind our nation to a severely flawed agreement that threatens our strength abroad and our Constitutional rights here at home.
“The ATT outrageously forces the United States – the world’s most important defender of peace and democracy – onto equal footing with the world’s worst dictatorships and terror-sponsors. Under this treaty, our crucial support for friends like Israel and Taiwan is endangered while enemies of these nations are empowered. On the turbulent global stage, it risks preventing the good from doing good while doing nothing to prevent the bad from doing bad. Furthermore, the treaty excludes any specific protection for, or even mention of, the fundamental right of individuals to keep and bear arms, which only opens the door wider to future gun control impositions.
“Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed that our arms export control system is the ‘gold standard’ of the world. This treaty is not just unnecessary but downright dangerous. The Senate must reject it and Congress must not pass any legislation to fund or implement it.”
NOTE: Rep. Kelly is a national leader of the 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 148 co-sponsors in the House and 36 supporters in the Senate.
On June 14, 2013, Rep. Kelly introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (NDAA) to prohibit federal funding for the implementation of the ATT for one year by the Department of Defense. The amendment was adopted unanimously by a voice vote and included in the final passage of the NDAA by the House of Representatives.
On July 24, 2013, the House Appropriations Committee approved the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014 which imposes a one-year ban on the use of federal funds for the implementation of the ATT by the State Department. The ban is based on language from a bipartisan letter which Rep. Kelly authored and submitted to the State and Foreign Operations subcommittee on April 18, 2013.