March 26, 2015
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) praised the passage of Amendment 649 which would prevent taxpayer funding towards the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Secretariat, or any other international organization established to implement the treaty, before Senate ratification and implementing legislation from both the House and Senate. The amendment passed by a vote of 59 to 41.
“Senator Moran and I have shown time and again that the Senate will not ratify the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. Today, the Senate also spoke against taxpayer dollars being used to help fund the treaty’s implementation,” Inhofe said. “The President should remove the United States’ as a signatory nation on an ambiguous treaty, which does nothing to guarantee the protection of personal gun ownership and could potentially interfere with the United States’ ability to aid allies.”
On December 24, 2014, the ATT went into force and more than 60 countries have ratified the treaty. A Secretariat of the U.N. Conference on the ATT oversees the practical and logistical arrangements related to the work of the Conference. In discussions of providing funding to the Secretariat, many nations supported the idea that all signatory countries contribute, including the United States, even if they have not ratified the treaty. This would likely require the U.S. to contribute approximately 22 percent of the funding- in line with their contribution level to the U.N. as a whole.
On March 3, Sens. Inhofe and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) announced the support of 12 freshman Senators in joining the Senate’s strong opposition to the ATT. This brought the number to 55 currently-seated Senators who have voiced their opposition to ratification of the ATT.
In the 113th Congress, on Oct. 15, 2013, Sens. Inhofe, Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) led a bipartisan group of 50 Senators in a letter to President Obama that the Senate overwhelmingly opposes the ratification of the treaty and that the United States will not be bound by its obligations.
On March 22, 2013, Inhofe introduced an amendment to the Senate budget resolution that would uphold Americans' Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the U.N. ATT. The amendment passed by a 53-46 vote.