Rep. Kelly Urges Congress to Ban Funding for U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today regarding the bipartisan letter he recently authored and submitted to the House Committee on Appropriations urging the committee to deny funding for the implementation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in the State,  Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014. The letter was co-signed by 50 members of Congress and was sent to State, Foreign Operations subcommittee chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) and ranking member Nita Lowey (D-NY) on April 18, 2013.

“The ATT remains a serious threat to American freedom and sovereignty and must be opposed as strongly as ever. In seeking to promote world peace, it risks shackling the world’s most important peacekeeper. It wrongly places all democracies, including the United States, on the same level as the world’s most despicable tyrannies and ignores the fundamental right to keep and bear arms enshrined in our Constitution. On the global stage, it would only be used to prevent the good from doing good while doing nothing to stop the bad from doing bad. This bipartisan letter outlines the treaty’s numerous drawbacks and requests that no funding be appropriated for it.”

Note: Earlier this month, the U.N. General Assembly voted to adopt the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). On June 3, 2013, the ATT opens for national signatures 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 national leader of the movement to stop the ATT. On March 15, 2013, he introduced H. Con. Res. 23, a bipartisan concurrent resolution to oppose the treaty, which currently has 140 co-sponsors in the House and 36 supporters in the Senate. In his private capacity, Rep. Kelly created an online petition to oppose the ATT which attracted the support of thousands of concerned Americans and was first submitted to the White House on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

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