Photo Credit: REUTERSSens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) released a bipartisan letter this week signed by 48 of their colleagues pledging to oppose the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which Secretary of State John Kerry signed on behalf of the United States in September.
This letter makes it clear that the Senate will not ratify the treaty in the foreseeable future.
Since a treaty requires a two-thirds majority to win the Senate’s advice and consent, the ATT is at least 17 votes short of the 67 votes needed to secure ratification. And if anything, the Moran-Manchin letter understates Senate opposition to the treaty.
Eleven other senators, all Democrats, supported either an amendmentopposing the ATT offered earlier this year by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a concurrent resolution led earlier this year by Moran, a 2012 letter led by Moran or a 2011 letter led by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.).
Put it all together, and a total of 61 senators either have pledged to oppose the ATT or have publicly expressed skepticism about it. If it ever reaches the Senate, the ATT is more likely to be opposed by 67 senators than to find a two-thirds majority willing to support it.
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