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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, this amendment is very clear, and it anticipates another amendment coming up by another Senator. The United States negotiates treaties, for example, the Arms Trade Treaty. But under the Supreme Court, Reid v. Covert, 1956, our Constitution trumps any agreement made in a treaty by our government.

So all my amendment does is make clear that the United States should not agree to any arms trade treaty that would violate our second amendment rights. It is straightforward, it respects our constitutional rights, but it also gives our government the flexibility it needs to negotiate treaties.

I would be happy with a voice vote.

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Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, we are presently negotiating an arms trade treaty which will help to keep illicit firearms out of the hands of war criminals and terrorists. It is a humanitarian issue. We have people such as Joseph Kony who is out murdering children. He is able to do it because he is taking part in the international arms trade. We are trying to stop those things.

My earlier amendment makes it very clear, we cannot trump our own second-amendment rights, but we can stop these children from being killed because of this, and that is why I oppose the Inhofe amendment.

Let our negotiators negotiate. Any treaty still has to come back here to get a two-thirds vote anyway.

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