U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today criticizing the Obama administration's vote in the United Nations General Assembly earlier today in favor of approving a resolution adopting the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). While the ATT conference concluded last week with a failure to reach a consensus agreement on the treaty, the resolution on the ATT was passed by the General Assembly by majority vote. Rep. Kelly is a national leader of the movement to stop the ATT and the original sponsor of H. Con. Res. 23, a bipartisan concurrent resolution to oppose the treaty, which currently has 129 co-sponsors in the House and 34 co-sponsors in the Senate. In his private capacity, Rep. Kelly created an online petition to stop the ATT which attracted the support of thousands of concerned Americans. It was first submitted to the White House on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.
"I am deeply disappointed with the Obama administration's vote today in support of forcing the ominous Arms Trade Treaty through the UN General Assembly. The administration has abandoned its stated "key U.S. redline,' that the "ATT negotiations must have consensus decision making to allow us to protect U.S. equities' and to "ensure that all countries can be held to standards that will actually improve the global situation.' In addition to my severe policy-based concerns, I also have serious process concerns with the administration's support for changing the rules in the middle of the game. It amounts to a hasty, short-sighted move that undermines our efforts to protect U.S. interests in future treaty negotiations.
"As I have repeatedly stated along with a bipartisan coalition in both chambers of Congress, the ATT is a harmful treaty that undermines our Constitutional rights and our national sovereignty. It jeopardizes our Second Amendment right of individuals to keep and bear arms, harms our ability to defend our allies such as Taiwan and Israel, and risks imposing new burdensome regulations on our domestic defense industrial base. No U.S. president should even consider such a dangerous treaty. For the sake of our national interests and Constitutional freedom, I strongly urge President Obama to reject the ATT."