Senate votes 53-46 to stop US from joining UN Arms Trade Treaty

In the last batch of amendment votes to the budget, the Senate voted on several foreign policy proposals.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced an amendment that would prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty in order to uphold the Second Amendment. His amendment passed on a 53-46 vote.

Republicans have been critical of President Obama’s decision to consider the treaty, although Obama has said he would not vote for anything that would violate the Second Amendment. 

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The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty would regulate international arms sales. Negotiations end on March 28.

“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.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) offered an alternative amendment that clarified that under current U.S. law, treaties don’t trump the Constitution and that the United States should not agree to any arms treaty that violates the Second Amendment rights. His amendment passed by voice vote.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said he thought it was irresponsible to be considering major foreign policy decisions at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning.


The Senate also voted on the following budget amendments:

- Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) amendment 184,  to expedite exports from the United States through reform of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 in such a manner that greenhouse gas emissions produced outside the United States by any good exported from the United States are not subject to the requirements of that Act, passed by voice vote.

- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) amendment 382, to increase funding for interstate bridges and pay for it with funding that would have gone to for foreign assistance and the Department of Energy loan guarantees, failed 26-72.

- Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) amendment 526, to require photo ID to vote in federal elections, 44-54

- Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) amendment 338, to end subsidized mobile phone service, failed 46-53.

- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) amendment 471, to reduce aid to Egypt to pay for the East Coast Missile Defense Shield, 25-74.

- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) amendment 702, to raise a point of order to prohibit funds to the United Nations while any member nation forces involuntary abortions, 38-61

- Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) amendment 673, to raise a point of order on a bill that would limit the Second Amendment, failed 50-49 to waive the budget act (60 votes are required).

- Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) amendment 521, to fund the payment in lieu of taxes program for federal lands, passed by voice vote.

- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) amendment 416, to prevent non-defense spending by the Department of Defense, failed 43-56.

- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) amendment 709, to force the Senate to consolidate duplicative government programs, passed 62-37.

- Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) amendment 154, to require the Congressional Budget Office to include macroeconomic feedback scoring of tax legislation, passed 51-48.


The following amendments were passed en bloc by unanimous consent:

- Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) amendment 149, to increase the capacity of federal agencies to ensure effective contract management and contract oversight.

- 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. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) amendment 316, to prevent prescription drug abuse in the United States.

- Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) amendment 394, to add more funding combat chronic illnesses.

- Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) amendment 267, to support rural schools and districts.

- Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) amendment 269, to strengthen the enforcement of provisions of free trade agreements that relate to textile and apparel articles.

- Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) amendment 353, to add funding for rural broadband.

- Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) amendment 453, to add funding for general health improvement.

- Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) amendment 192, to increase access to healthcare for veterans in rural areas. 

- Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) amendment 479, to add provisions on financial aid award letters.

- Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) amendment 581, to exempt states from remote sales of business inputs.

- Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) amendment 265, to prohibit certain revisions of allocations for workforce investment measures that lack program integrity controls for the Job Corps program.

- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) amendment 594, to fund OAA home delivered meals.

- Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) amendment 618, to address anti dumping/countervailing duties.

- Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) amendment 430, as modified, to collect offshore tax on corporations.

- Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) amendment 499, for Energy research and development to comply with greenhouse gas rules.

- Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) amendment 434, to increase funding for inland waterways systems.

- Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) amendment 195, to require fuller reporting on possible costs to taxpayers of any budget submitted by the president.

- Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) amendment 319, to provide additional resources to Criminal Investigations and Police Services of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

- Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) amendment 161, to have a full audit of the financial statements of the Department of Defense by 2017.

- Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) amendment 671, to address Iran sanctions.

- Sen. Lisa Murkowski amendment 672, to provide fishery assistance.

- Sen. Marco Rubio amendment 623, to express the sense of the Senate on use of NASA facilities.

- Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) amendment 348, to ensure public access for fishing near Army Corps dams.

- Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) amendment 389, to reduce regulatory burdens on community banks.

- Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) amendment 477, to fund per diem payments to care for homeless veterans.

- Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) amendment 217, to support programs related to the nuclear missions of the Department of Defense and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

- Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) amendment 489, to provide for a tax reform transition.

- 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.