House Passes Defense Appropriations Bill w/Kelly Provision to Ban Funding for Arms Trade Treaty

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2015 by a bipartisan vote of 340-73. The bill included language requested by Rep. Kelly to prohibit any funding by the Department of Defense for the implementation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The provision requires a one-year ban on funding for the ATT unless the treaty receives the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.

“Today the House took action to preserve our Second Amendment rights and secure our national sovereignty. For as long as this administration recklessly intends to implement the ATT, the American people’s representatives have an obligation to prevent any taxpayer dollars from doing so. With today’s legislation, we met that obligation and once again affirmed our bipartisan opposition to this very dangerous treaty.”

NOTE:  Rep. Kelly is a national leader of the movement to stop the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). On March 15, 2013, he introduced H. Con. Res. 23, a bipartisan concurrent resolution expressing opposition to the treaty on behalf of members of Congress. The resolution currently has 149 co-sponsors in the House and 36 supporters in the Senate.

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. He sent a similar bipartisan letter to the president following Secretary Kerry’s signing of the treaty on October 15, 2013, which was signed by 181 members of Congress, including multiple committee chairmen. A follow-up letter was sent to the White House on April, 20, 2014.

On June 14, 2013, Rep. Kelly introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 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. The House-Senate compromise NDAA, which included an updated version of the Kelly amendment, was passed by the House on December 12, 2013; passed by the Senate on December, 19, 2013; and signed by President Obama on December 26, 2013.

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. A version of this ban was integrated into H.R. 3547, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, which temporarily funded the government between October 1, 2013 and January 15, 2014.

On April 1, 2014, Rep. Kelly authored and submitted four separate letters to the bipartisan leaders of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, the Subcommittee on Homeland Security, the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies requesting updated and strengthened language prohibiting federal funding of the ATT in each of the subcommittees’ respective appropriation bills for fiscal year 2015, including an explicit ban on the use of funds to engage in domestic prosecutions on the basis of the ATT. Each letter was co-signed by more than 80 members of Congress.

On May 22, 2014, the House passed H.R. 4335, the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2015, which included Rep. Kelly’s amendment to continue the Defense Department’s ban on funding for the ATT.

On May 30, 2014, the House passed the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2015, which included language requested by Kelly to ban ATT funding by the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies.