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-   -   Int'l Issues Why are Republicans voting down a UN disabilities treaty? (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=267357)

Direckshun 12-04-2012 07:51 AM

Why are Republicans voting down a UN disabilities treaty?
 
http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affa...ail-in-senate-

UN disabilities treaty expected to fail in Senate amid GOP opposition
By Julian Pecquet
12/04/12 05:00 AM ET

Senate Republicans are expected on Tuesday to reject an international treaty affirming the rights of people with disabilities.

Democrats made a last-ditch effort to secure the two-thirds vote for ratification of the United Nations convention, but appeared to be well short of that mark ahead of Tuesday’s scheduled vote.

Conservative activists have come out in force against the treaty, warning it would pave the way for government interference in homeschooling. Supporters of the pact say it would merely extend the rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act to all nations.

“This is about Americans and raising the standard of how we treat Americans around the world,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.).

Democrats would need only 66 senators to ratify the treaty, due to the absence of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), but Republican votes have been hard to come by.

Thirty-six Republican senators signed a letter to Senate leaders in September promising to oppose any treaty brought to a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress.

Democrats had hoped some of those senators would have a change of heart after the election, and were able to peel off two GOP votes last week when Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Scott Brown (Mass.) voted to proceed to the disabilities treaty on the Senate floor.

The 61-36 vote to proceed would not have been enough for ratification, however, and three Republicans who abstained from the September letter — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Sens. James Inhofe (Okla.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) — voted no, further dimming Democratic hopes.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who spearheaded the September letter, is working alongside former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, the Heritage Foundation and the Home School Legal Defense Association to ensure the treaty’s defeat. They warn it would create a U.N. committee that could impinge on U.S. sovereignty.

“Our concerns with this convention have nothing to do with any lack of concern for the rights of persons with disabilities,” Lee said last week. “They have everything to do with protecting U.S. sovereignty, protecting the interests of parents in the United States and the interests of families.”

Opponents of the treaty have also criticized it for not excluding abortion rights.

Democrats say the treaty stays neutral on abortion by calling on governments to offer people with disabilities the full range of family-planning services provided under domestic law.

Conservative groups pressed for the addition of language that would specify that the treaty does not create any new abortion rights, arguing that abortion is often a form of discrimination against people with disabilities.

All nine Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted for language excluding abortion rights when the treaty came before the panel in July. The amendment failed, and only three Republicans — Sens. Dick Lugar (Ind.), John Barrasso (Wyo.) and Johnny Isakson (Ga.) — joined the 10 Democrats on the panel voting for passage.

Democrats were trying Monday to convince on-the-fence Republicans that a “no” vote on the Senate floor would be politically painful.

The treaty has the support of a handful of Republican senators — including former presidential candidate John McCain (Ariz.) and Republican Policy Committee Chairman Barrasso — as well as many advocates for people with disabilities and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) is expected to champion the treaty in a return to the Senate floor Tuesday after denouncing the “scare tactics” used by its opponents in a letter distributed Monday.

Democrats have also roped in former Attorney General and Pennsylvania Gov. Richard Thornburgh, who was President George H. W. Bush’s point man on the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990.

The treaty, Thornburgh said Monday, would cede “no authority to the U.N. over the U.S. or any of its citizens. None. Zero.” He said the U.N. committee’s recommendations would be purely advisory and could not require the United States to change its laws or pass new ones and would not create any legal rights in state or federal courts.

The treaty was negotiated under President George W. Bush and was signed by President Obama in July 2009. It has been signed by at least 153 countries in addition to the United States.

Lee in his letter said the lame-duck session would not be an “appropriate” time for passage of treaties that will become the “supreme law of the land.”

Kerry countered by saying the Senate has passed treaties 19 times during lame-duck sessions. He said the sitting senators, who “did all the work” sitting in on the committee’s markup of the treaty this summer, should be the ones to vote on it.

President Obama, in a statement marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Monday, said U.S. leadership on a key human-rights issue is at stake.

“Ratifying the convention in the Senate would reaffirm America’s position as the global leader on disability rights,” Obama said, “and better position us to encourage progress toward inclusion, equal opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency for persons with disabilities worldwide.”

SNR 12-04-2012 08:05 AM

Conservative activists have come out in force against the treaty, warning it would pave the way for government interference in homeschooling. Supporters of the pact say it would merely extend the rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act to all nations.

Direckshun 12-04-2012 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SNR (Post 9179431)
Conservative activists have come out in force against the treaty, warning it would pave the way for government interference in homeschooling.

Based on what?

SNR 12-04-2012 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Direckshun (Post 9179487)
Based on what?

Dunno. That's what the article said.

Fat Elvis 12-04-2012 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SNR (Post 9179431)
Conservative activists have come out in force against the treaty, warning it would pave the way for government interference in homeschooling. Supporters of the pact say it would merely extend the rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act to all nations.

Excuses, excuses...a couple of days ago they were saying that it would violate US sovereignty if we ratified it. They seemed to drop that argument because everyone said they were nutjobs if they actually believed it.

It doesn't change a single thing in the US if we ratify it.

mnchiefsguy 12-04-2012 09:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fat Elvis (Post 9179626)
Excuses, excuses...a couple of days ago they were saying that it would violate US sovereignty if we ratified it. They seemed to drop that argument because everyone said they were nutjobs if they actually believed it.

It doesn't change a single thing in the US if we ratify it.


If that is the case, then is it even necessary? Is the US worse at disability rights than most of the countries at the UN? I find that very hard to believe.

donkhater 12-04-2012 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fat Elvis (Post 9179626)
Excuses, excuses...a couple of days ago they were saying that it would violate US sovereignty if we ratified it. They seemed to drop that argument because everyone said they were nutjobs if they actually believed it.

It doesn't change a single thing in the US if we ratify it.

So then why do it?

Brock 12-04-2012 09:34 AM

Anybody care about this? Didn't think so.

KCWolfman 12-04-2012 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by donkhater (Post 9179655)
So then why do it?

My thoughts precisely. Those who don't want to "police" the world all of a sudden want to police it.

US Senators do not equal World Policy.

La literatura 12-04-2012 09:37 AM

This Treaty is about the behavior of other countries and their willingness to raise their treatment of people with disabilities to our level. It's that simple.
This isn't a Treaty about changing America. It's a treaty to change the world to be more like America.

So why join? Because we can sit at the table and affect the lives of our citizens by pushing other countries upwards; because we can gain credibility and accelerate change through our advocacy; because it's good for American business which can sell products and services as other nations raise their standards and need our expertise to meet their goals--which is why the US Chamber of Commerce and a huge number of businesses support this Treaty; because President George H W Bush started this process and President George W Bush signed the Treaty and to not participate after that is to make a fool of the United States; because in the end, this Treaty and our participation in it can improve the quality of life for people with disabilities; because to join it is to keep faith with the men and women who have suffered grievous disability in defense of our nation and we owe them nothing less.

-- John Kerry, http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-bl...-up-to-scutiny

La literatura 12-04-2012 09:40 AM

But this is a UN treaty; UN wants to overtake US sovereignty; Democrats support this; right-wing primary goers want anti-UN rhetoric; say something about abortion. Is that the Republican mindset?

KCWolfman 12-04-2012 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Literature (Post 9179682)
But this is a UN treaty; UN wants to overtake US sovereignty; Democrats support this; right-wing primary goers want anti-UN rhetoric; say something about abortion. Is that the Republican mindset?

I wish as much effort were put forth to domestic policy. This doesn't affect me or my children directly. Fiscal cliffs, entitlement spending, lack of a budget, spiraling deficit spending all do.

Let's get the house in order before we start crying about what's going on at the neighbors.

La literatura 12-04-2012 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KCWolfman (Post 9179693)
I wish as much effort were put forth to domestic policy. This doesn't affect me or my children directly. Fiscal cliffs, entitlement spending, lack of a budget, spiraling deficit spending all do.

Let's get the house in order before we start crying about what's going on at the neighbors.

The treaty was signed years ago. Now it just needs to be ratified. Your opposition to this is not because of the effect it will have, but because Senators are too busy to vote on it? Do you realize their job is to vote yes and no on things?

KCWolfman 12-04-2012 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Literature (Post 9179704)
The treaty was signed years ago. Now it just needs to be ratified. Your opposition to this is not because of the effect it will have, but because Senators are too busy to vote on it? Do you realize their job is to vote yes and no on things?

Yup, like deficits, fiscal cliffs, entitlements, Healthcare issues, etc. - AMERICAN issues.

I have no qualms whether the stupid thing is ratified - you misread. I just don't see why it is a big issue or why we are wasting time with it. As I said, I wish this sort of effort were put forth to things that matter to my family.

HonestChieffan 12-04-2012 09:53 AM

Damn now Im gonna spend a bunch of the day worried about this.


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