John Kerry pretty pumped about signing off on UN arms trade treaty; White House oddly fine with waiting it out
posted at 8:01 pm on June 3, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
The Senate has already come out swinging — on a bipartisan basis, no less — with a symbolic 53-46 vote against the United States’ adoption of the United Nations’ newly finalized Arms Trade Treaty, an international agreement that its globalist advocates claim will be helpful in regulating the conventional arms trade. The Obama administration went pretty mum about the ongoing issue in the run-up to the presidential election, but has since declared their full and enthusiastic support for the project that a group of 130 lawmakers last week called a “deeply flawed” document that “suffers from vagueness” and which they recommend the administration should abstain from signing.
Still, Secretary of State John Kerry is pretty darn excited about the prospect of the United States hopping on board with the United Nations’ treaty:
Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the Obama administration would sign a controversial U.N. treaty on arms regulation, despite bipartisan resistance in Congress from members concerned it could lead to new gun control measures in the U.S.
Kerry, releasing a written statement as the U.N. treaty opened for signature Monday, said the U.S. “welcomes” the next phase for the treaty, which the U.N. General Assembly approved on April 2.
“We look forward to signing it as soon as the process of conforming the official translations is completed satisfactorily,” he said. Kerry called the treaty “an important contribution to efforts to stem the illicit trade in conventional weapons, which fuels conflict, empowers violent extremists, and contributes to violations of human rights.”
And yet, it sounds like the White House might suddenly be feeling sheepish about the issue all over again. They’re once more pulling out the stall tactics, waiting to sign a bill that President Obama fundamentally supports but most of the Senate fundamentally opposes until both Congress and much of the country are on vacation in August (a.k.a. the time when Congress and the media will raise the least amount of collective fuss over the whole thing) — except that the president could have signed it today if he had really wanted to.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president aims to sign the pact “before the end of August.” Obama could have signed the treaty as early as Monday. …
That time frame appears to validate the concerns of treaty advocates who had worried the administration would wait until the cover of darkness to sign a treaty opposed by a majority of senators. …
The treaty covers small arms and calls for the creation of an end-user registry for exports. It is that registry that has drawn the opposition of the NRA and a majority of the Senate. …
Carney made it clear Monday that Obama intends to sign it eventually, arguing that technical reasons explain the delay.
“We believe it’s in the interest of the United States,” he said. “While we look forward to signing the treaty, there are remaining translation issues that need to be resolved.”
“Remaining translation issues”? Mm hmm, yes, I’m sure that’s it.
Anyhow, if/when President Obama finally signs the treaty, the teeth of enforcement only come with Senate ratification of a two-thirds majority — which, as things stand now, is not going to happen.