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Bridget Johnson


March 13, 2013 - 7:51 am

In advance of the Obama Administration engaging in a new round of United Nations Arms Trade Treaty negotiations next week in New York, legislators are pushing bicameral resolutions sounding opposition to the pact.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) are leading the effort.

“We must avoid a situation where the Administration, due to its continued willingness to negotiate, feels pressured to sign a treaty that violates our constitutional rights,” Moran said. “It is now clear that Congress must reiterate its concerns with the latest draft of the treaty, and I am pleased to be leading this effort once again with Congressman Kelly.”

At the end of the 112th Congress, Kelly introduced a resolution to make the treaty not binding  and allow no federal funds to implement it unless it has consent in the Senate and has been the subject of implementing legislation by Congress.

President Obama reversed the course of the George W. Bush administration in October 2009, supporting negotiations at the UN for the Arms Trade Treaty that began in 2001 with the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.

At the July 2012 international conference on the treaty, the administration called the selection of Iran to serve as vice-president of the conference “outrageous.” Global players accused the U.S. of undermining treaty efforts to look more gun-friendly on the campaign trail, and talks collapsed.

After Obama’s re-election, he proved — shall we say — more flexible.

Mere hours after his victory, the UN General Assembly’s disarmament committee seized the day and put forth a resolution calling for resumption of the arms treaty talks. It passed with no objections, 18 abstentions, and 157 “yes” votes. The U.S. voted in favor of the resolution.

A deal could be reached just months from now.

Joining Moran and Kelly today to introduce the resolutions are Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Reps. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Randy Forbes (R-Va.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Sam Graves (R-Miss.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Trey Radel (R-Fla.), Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), and Randy Weber (R-Texas).

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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