U.N. Disabilities Treaty Faces GOP Opposition; Sovereignty Concerns Raised in Senate

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 4, 2012 | Go to article overview

U.N. Disabilities Treaty Faces GOP Opposition; Sovereignty Concerns Raised in Senate


Byline: Sean Lengell, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A United Nations treaty advocating equal rights for disabled people faces significant Republican opposition in the Senate this week as lawmakers fear it could cede U.S. sovereignty and is not something that should be addressed during the lame-duck session.Supporters of the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, which is scheduled for debate - and possibly an up-or-down vote - on the Senate floor Tuesday, say it's nonbinding and wouldn't change or challenge U.S. law.The Senate's Democratic majority, along with some Republicans, say the treaty is based on the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and would help protect disabled Americans abroad We have the opportunity to help ensure that millions of disabled Americans - our wounded service members included - are treated with the same level of respect and dignity they have at home while they are traveling or living abroad, said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat and a leading advocate of the treaty If any issue can withstand this age of polarization, it should be this one. But Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, isn't convinced the U.N. committee created to promote the rights of the disabled globally would have only an advisory role. Similar panels, he said, have made demands on national governments that fall outside their legal, economic and cultural traditions.Mr. Lee also said the treaty is being rushed through the Senate, complaining that only one hearing - in July - has been held It is very important to have a full understanding of what these treaties mean, the senator said on the chamber floor in September. …

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U.N. Disabilities Treaty Faces GOP Opposition; Sovereignty Concerns Raised in Senate
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