With 34 Republican senators now opposing a United Nations effort to regulate international waters, the Law of the Sea treaty effectively has no way forward in the U.S. Senate.
Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Johnny Isakson of Georgia joined 30 other GOP members in agreeing to vote against the U.N. treaty.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint helped lead the conservative effort on Capitol Hill to rally senators against the treaty, which has been pushed by chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry and notably backed by Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.
Business groups like the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also support the Law of the Sea treaty, which would give unprecedented taxing and permitting authority over activity on international waters to a U.N.-created agency.
“Proponents of the Law of the Sea treaty aspire to admirable goals, including codifying the U.S. Navy’s navigational rights and defining American economic interests in valuable offshore resources.
But the treaty’s terms reach well beyond those good intentions,” Ayotte and Portman wrote in a Monday letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.