On Tuesday as a group of Republican Senators blocked ratification of a UN treaty to help disabled people around the planet. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires signatory nations to provide for disabled populations in the same way the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act does. The treaty would require absolutely no changes to current U.S. law. It was originally signed by President George W. Bush in 2006, and then re-signed by President Obama in 2009. It was championed by former Republican Senator Bob Dole and supported by Republicans John McCain, Dick Lugar, and John Barrasso.
It received 61 votes in the Senate – a clear majority – however treaty ratification requires a two-thirds majority and 38 Republicans, including Senators Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, and Marco Rubio, joined together to block it out of fear that it threatens the sovereignty of the United States even though – again – the treaty would require no changes to U.S. law since our nation has already passed laws to assist the disabled. Rather than doing what’s right for the nation and the entire world, Republicans in the Senate used this treaty to scare the hell out of their base and warn of a nameless, faceless global government that is trying to take over the United States.
Nothing could be farther from the truth – or even more ironic as these same Republicans support free trade agreements like NAFTA, the WTO, and the TPP, which actually do threaten our sovereignty on the behalf of transnational corporations.
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