The United States Senate passed an amendment to the budget bill sponsored by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday, which was a measure "to uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty." The vote was 53-46.
"We're negotiating a treaty that cedes our authority to have trade agreements with our allies in terms of trading arms," Inhofe said. "This is probably the last time this year that you'll be able to vote for your Second Amendment rights."
Inhofe even received some support from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) who offered an alternative amendment that clarified that under U.S. law, treaties do not trump the U.S. Constitution and that the U.S. should not agree to any arms treaty that violates the Second Amendment, though I don't know how he squares that with members of his own party violating the Second Amendment. His amendment passed by a voice vote.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who is the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, said that he thought it was irresponsible to be considering major foreign policy decisions at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. No one is surprised as Menendez probably wishes he was back down in the Dominican Republic at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning engaging underage prostitutes in a little "foreign policy."
Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) has a resolution pending before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that declares that it is the sense of Congress that:
"The President should not sign the Arms Trade Treaty, and that, if he transmits the treaty with his signature to the Senate, the Senate should not ratify the Arms Trade Treaty; and
until the Arms Trade Treaty has been signed by the President, received the advice and consent of the Senate, and has been the subject of implementing legislation by Congress, no Federal funds should be appropriated or authorized to implement the Arms Trade Treaty, or any similar agreement, or to conduct activities relevant to the Arms Trade Treaty, or any similar agreement."
Senator Mike Kelly (R-PA) offered a companion measure in the House.
Both of these measures declare that the ATT "poses significant risks to the national security, foreign policy, and economic interests of the United States as well as to the constitutional rights of United States citizens and United States sovereignty" and that it "fails to expressly recognize the fundamental, individual right to keep and to bear arms and the individual right of personal self-defense, as well as the legitimacy of hunting, sports shooting, and other lawful activities pertaining to the private ownership of firearms and related materials, and thus risks infringing on freedoms protected by the Second Amendment."
Joe Wolverton at The New American writes,
As The New American has reported from the United Nations last week, negotiators at the Arms Trade Treaty conference, are planning to effectively repeal the Second Amendment by replacing the Constitution with the UN Charter and by replacing God with government as the source of all rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.
Principally, this treaty would eradicate the Second Amendment in two ways: First, by mandating that state signatories create a registry of gun owners, manufacturers, sellers, and traders; second, by making it nearly impossible for civilians to purchase ammunition.
The most egregious affront to the sovereignty of the United States is that there is not a single word in the Arms Trade Treaty protecting the unalienable right to keep and bear arms. In fact, the latest draft of the proposed agreement only recognizes private ownership of firearms for "recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities." This is a significant and unacceptable infringement on the rights protected by the Second Amendment.
In truth, however, Americans needn't to look to an unaccountable, unelected body of globalist bureaucrats for reaffirmation of the rights already guaranteed by our Constitution.
The ATT negotiation are scheduled to wrap up on March 28. If the U.S. delegation agrees to participate in the agreement, which they have been instructed to do by Barack Obama, the treaty would be sent to the Senate for consideration. This is why the move on the Senate's part is a good move.
The Hill reports of all amendments put forth, those that failed and those that passed. Among those amendments that passed were these:
- Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) amendment 577, to ensure funding for air traffic controllers
- Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) amendment 593, to address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fees.
- Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) amendment 353, to add funding for rural broadband.
- Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) amendment 479, to add provisions on financial aid award letters.
- Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) amendment 499, for Energy research and development to comply with greenhouse gas rules.
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski amendment 672, to provide fishery assistance.
- Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) amendment 655, to support tribal education programs.
- Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) amendment 525, to increase biomedical research at the National Institute of Health.
There were some good amendments too, these just weren't some of them. Call and thank the Senators who supported Senator Inhofe's amendment and call the other Senators and let them know you are looking to remove them from their seat when they are up for re-election.