Monday, May 19, 2014

The CRPD and Answers to Four Questions That Should Influence the Next Move

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has a business meeting scheduled for May 20, 2014. Several pieces of legislation dealing with foreign countries and ambassadorships are on the agenda (www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/business-meeting-5-20-14). It will be held in S-116 of the Capitol, so stop by if you can.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is not on the agenda. I do not know how often the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has business meetings, but I think the May 20 meeting is a great opportunity for Chairman Menendez of New Jersey to take the pulse of his membership on whether or not they support the CRPD. It's not till 2:15 pm, so give him a call (202.224.4744) and suggest he add it.

 What Chairman Menendez needs to know is four things:

1.  How important ratification is to us.

2.  How many committee members are waiting for a draft resolution before taking a position.

3.  How many members have specific concerns and are either willing to work to resolve concerns with the chairman or have draft language to share with the chairman.

4.  How many members are opposed to the CRPD ratification under any conditions.

I believe the chairman has the votes to get a resolution on the CRPD out of committee. He can share a draft with those who fall under #2.  And, unless he has some members that fall under #3, there is no reason to delay bringing a CRPD resolution up for a committee vote now. We need to seize the moment and get Senators, who are on the fence, to commit.  Of course, we need to contact these fence sitters, once we know who they are, and tell them how we feel.

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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