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Treaty Overboard: Just Three More 'No' Vows Needed to Block Law of the Sea

Thirty-one senators signed on to a letter by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) opposing ratification of the United Nations' Law of the Sea Treaty, potentially dooming the pact that opponents say compromises U.S. sovereignty.

In the letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the senators acknowledge Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry's (D-Mass.) ratification push and vow to vote against the treaty.

"By its current terms, the Law of the Sea Convention encompasses economic and technology interests in the deep sea, redistribution of wealth from developed to undeveloped nations, freedom of navigation in the deep sea and exclusive economic zones which may impact maritime security, and environmental regulation over virtually all sources of pollution," the Republicans wrote.

"To effect the treaty's broad regime of governance, we are particularly concerned that United States sovereignty could be subjugated in many areas to a supranational government that is chartered by the United Nations under the 1982 Convention," they added. "Further, we are troubled that compulsory dispute resolution could pertain to public and private activities including law enforcement, maritime security, business operations, and nonmilitary activities performed aboard military vessels."

Nebraska Republican Mike Johanns was the latest to sign on, leaving the treaty -- which needs two-thirds of the Senate for ratification -- just three votes away from being blocked.

Heritage Action is targeting Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss), Bob Corker (R-Tenn), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) to similarly secure promises of a "no" vote.

McCain, however, has supported the treaty along with Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).