|Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 3.18.13
Monday, March 18, 2013 ‚Äď
The Arms Trade Treaty
Since the beginning of this year, support for Second Amendment rights has been the top issue that my office receives feedback on from residents of the Ninth District of Virginia.
Like many, I am very proud to be a Virginian. One of the reasons that I am proud to be a Virginian is that the Virginians stood up and in essence said ‚ÄúWe are not going to ratify ‚Äėthis‚Äô Constitution for these United States unless it includes a Bill of Rights.‚ÄĚ That Bill of Rights, based on Virginia‚Äôs Declaration of Rights, protects the inalienable rights that this country recognizes as being a part of the natural law, including but not limited to the right to bear arms.
Last year, a number of my constituents contacted me to express concerns about the Small Arms Treaty being considered by the United Nations (U.N.). They believed that the treaty would infringe on their Second Amendment rights, and I agreed. I oppose this treaty and any other that could potentially infringe on the inalienable rights laid out by the Constitution.
Original negotiations over the treaty failed in July. One of the reasons why I believe the negotiations failed is that the Obama Administration did not want the final negotiations taking place during the height of the President‚Äôs campaign for reelection. Many suspected the negotiations would resume if President Obama were reelected. The Arms Trade Treaty entered final negotiations at the U.N. on Monday, March 18, 2013.
As a Virginian, not on my watch do we cede away our Bill of Rights to the U.N. We must protect those liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights ‚Äď those liberties that were guaranteed by the Virginians who refused to ratify the Constitution without the right to petition the government, without the right of free speech, without the freedom of religion, and without the right to bear arms.
I remain opposed to the Arms Trade Treaty, and joined 122 of my colleagues in the House in cosponsoring a concurrent resolution that expresses our opposition. A companion resolution in the Senate has earned the support of 29 Senators.
The Administration should not even be participating in U.N. negotiations that could lead to an international treaty that could undermine the Bill of Rights or infringe on the constitutionally protected rights of U.S. citizens.
The President‚Äôs Health Care Law ‚Äď Three Years Later
Nearly three years ago, the President signed his controversial health care reform bill into law, a law commonly known as Obamacare. The law is not yet fully in effect, but Virginians have already begun to see the consequences.
As cited in the Roanoke Times on February 9, 2013:
‚ÄúThousands of part-time state workers are being told they‚Äôll be allowed to work no more than 29 hours a week going forward.
‚ÄúThe reason: The federal Affordable Care Act requires that employees working 30 hours a week or more receive health care benefits ‚ÄĒ which would cost Virginia tens of millions of dollars a year.
‚ÄúThe new policy will mean a pay cut for many part-timers, including adjunct college professors.‚ÄĚ
Noted by Community Newspapers of Southwest Virginia on February 19, 2013:
‚Äú‚Ä¶ Last week, Wytheville joined other towns, cities and counties across the commonwealth in trying to figure out how to pay ‚Äď or avoid paying, as the case might be ‚Äď for health insurance for part-time employees. ‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ
Of course, our health care system is in need of reform. However, that reform should not result in what many predicted would be a job-killing government overreach.
Closing with the Community Newspapers of Southwest Virginia:
‚Äú‚Ä¶ Consider that these cuts are coming from entities with no profit motive, no corporate board demanding ‚Äėright-sizing,‚Äô no shareholders screaming for costs to be held down and no customers who can take their business elsewhere. Then, ask yourself what the average business, which does face those extra demands, is going to do. ‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ
As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office by email, please visit my website at