Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CRPD: What's the Reason for No Committee Action Yet?



President Obama and his appointees have been vigorously advocating for ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), especially in the last week. Senator Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, strongly supports ratification. Senator Corker, who has been neutral on ratification, has said we need clear reservations, understandings, and declarations (RUDs) to include with a resolution to ratify. Witnesses, selected by Senator Corker, in two hearings (11/5 and 11/21) provided sample RUDs that address outstanding concerns. Most of the background, needed for a Committee report, exists. Democrats AND Republicans, who support ratification, on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, outnumber committee members who oppose it.  All that is needed is a simple majority vote in committee to get the Senate resolution to the Senate floor. The Democrats, who control the Senate and support ratification, have the power to move things along.  People who support ratification have let their feelings be known over and over again, just recall the need for overflow rooms needed for both hearings. And, it is not easy for many people with disabilities to physically get to a congressional office building for a hearing. The  House has no role in ratification of the CRPD, just the Senate. Members of Congress are waiting to see if a budget deal has been reached. One is needed by this Friday, December 13th. In January 2014 the Senate will have a lot of pressing matters that could easily divert its attention from the CRPD. So, the obvious question is -- what's the reason for the hold up? 

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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