This week - Tuesday, December 4th - the Senate had a chance to ratify the United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled. It is modeled after the Americans with Disabilities act, was drafter under President George W. Bush and is a great step forward for people with disabilities around the world. It should have been a no-brainer for the Senate to ratify it. But it wasn't.
Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole made a rare appearance on the Senate floor in his wheelchair to try and sway the Republicans to vote Yea on ratifying this treaty. They did not. In all, 38 Senators voted NAY and refused to stand up for disabilities rights around the world. All 38 Senators were Republican with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) leading the charge and supported by former senator Rick Santorum (who, sadly, hails from my state of PA). And I can only think to myself that the Republican party is supposed to stand for Christian values yet decided to do nothing for the disabled. I am happy that in all 8 Republicans - including Senator McCain - did vote Yea to the treaty but that just wasn't enough.
For more information, here is an article from the Washington Post and here is an article on politicususa.
Senator Toomey from PA voted Nay. I called his office and told him I was not happy with his vote. Senator Casey from PA vote Yea. I called his office and thanked him for his support on this treaty. I encourage others to do the same. Their phone numbers are:
Want to know how your Senators voted? Click this link to see.
And for a bit of perspective, Jon Stewart did a great bit on this issue called Please Tell Me This is Rock Bottom. As he puts it - "Republicans hate the United Nations more than they like helping people in wheelchairs."
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Please Tell Me This is Rock Bottom|
That about sums it up. I hope this isn't what we will see for the next 4 years because, after all, we live with a government for the people by the people. Your representatives vote for YOU. Make sure you call them and let them know how they are doing with that job. It only takes a minute.