White House suggests Obama will put off signing arms treaty until August

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
By Paul Martin

By Julian Pecquet
The Hill.com
06/03/13

The White House signaled Monday that President Obama will delay signing a controversial arms trade treaty until after Congress leaves for summer recess.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president aims to sign the pact “before the end of August.” Obama could have signed it as early as Monday.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) opposes the treaty, and the delay would allow Obama to sign the pact during the August doldrums, with Congress out of town.

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.

“I think there’s a lot of political hand-wringing going on,” said Rachel Stohl, a senior associate with the Stimson Center think tank, which supports the treaty. “They know people are going to be paying attention to this particular issue on this particular day.”

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