Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Disability Rights Treaty Held Up In Senate


Despite bipartisan support for a United Nations disability rights treaty, a group of Republican lawmakers is holding up U.S. Senate consideration of the matter.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee planned to consider the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last week, but was unable to after Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and a number of other Republicans reportedly placed a hold on it.
The move effectively squashed efforts by supporters of the treaty to get the U.S. to ratify it before the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Thursday.
While the U.S. initially signed the U.N. Convention in 2009, Senate approval is needed for ratification of the treaty, which calls for greater community access and a better standard of living for people with disabilities worldwide.
The delay comes amid opposition from the Home School Legal Defense Association which is urging its members to tell Congress that the treaty “surrenders U.S. sovereignty to unelected U.N. bureaucrats, and will threaten parental control over children with disabilities.”
In a statement to the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill, a DeMint spokesman said he wanted to delay the treaty over largely similar concerns.
“Sen. DeMint strongly opposes this treaty, as the United States is already the world leader in addressing the needs of the disabled and it’s foolish to think Americans need to sign away our sovereignty to exert our influence around the world,” the spokesman said.
Read more of Michelle Diament's Disability Scoop article HERE.
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