CRPD Pressure Needed ImmediatelyOn Tuesday, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) had the Senate vote to begin the debate on the Senate floor on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) treaty. As we expected, 61 senators voted to begin debate on this treaty. However, Sen. Reid has now pivoted away from this treaty to consider other legislation, while he tries to figure out which amendments to bring up and how to browbeat a few Republican senators to vote for the treaty.So, while the CRPD is not currently on the floor, Sen. Reid could bring it back at any moment. We need to continue to remind senators why this treaty is dangerous and should not be ratified!U.S. law provides the highest protections for persons with disabilities. However, provisions in the CRPD could require changes to our laws in order to comply with the treaty. An unelected and unaccountable U.N. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities would have the power to review our implementation of the CRPD and urge changes to our federal and state laws to comply with the Committee’s own interpretation of the Convention.In addition to civil and political rights which are recognized in the U.S., the CRPD contains social, economic, and cultural rights that the U.S. does not recognize. Civil and political rights are included in the Constitution and tell us what the government cannot do to its citizens (like discriminate against us). The CRPD also includes rights that tell the government what it must do – such as free or affordable health care or adequate standard of living and social protection – which are not recognized in the U.S. Constitution. The CRPD is designed to end discrimination on the basis of “disability.” Yet, this treaty does not provide an explicit definition of the term “disability.” Rather, it states that “disability is an evolving concept.” With no clear definition or an evolving definition, ratification could cause a conflict between our laws and the Convention. Act Now:1. Thank the 36 senators who voted against taking up the CRPD during the lame duck. This is a great way to acknowledge their action and encourage them to maintain their position. Sen. Reid will be trying lure away some of these Senators to reach the needed 67 votes.2. Call you Senators and urge them to vote against the CRPD. To find your Senators, please click here. The following senators we have heard may be wavering. 3. Please call them right away and urge them to oppose this dangerous treaty.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texa): 202-224-5922
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee): 202-224-4944Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nevada): 202-224-6244Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska): 202-224-4224Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas): 202-224-6521Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi): 202-224-5054Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia): 202-224-3954
4.Senators Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) signed onto a letter not to proceed to the treaty during the lame duck session and they both disregarded the letter they signed and voted to consider it. Please call them and ask them to oppose the CRPD.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts): 202-224-4543Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah): 202-224-5251