Friday, October 24, 2014

CRPD: Whoever Heard of a Guaranteed Vote?

When the CRPD came up for a vote on December 4, 2012, Majority Leader Harry Reid thought he had the votes. Former Majority Leader Bob Dole was on the floor of the Senate, using a wheelchair, and had received assurances from several of his friends that they would vote for the treaty. The vote was 61 to 38. Those for the treaty fell short by six.

All people who have talk to Senator Reid or his staff have said that he will not bring the treaty up again for a vote until he has a guarantee of 67 votes for it. That's the number you need at a minimum to pass an international treaty.

A vote is sacred. Especially on polarized issues on which the feelings are strong. With such issues elected officials tend to keep the way they plan to vote between the themselves and God and even then they could change their minds. That's the way it is. In all honesty there was no way we can guarantee Senator Reid 67 votes even if we wanted to.

There are probably some Senators in both parties that wish a vote on the CRPD would just go away. They don't want it. They don't need it. Senator Reid is doing them a favor by setting the bar for a vote so high.

Well, whether the Democrats retain or lose control of the Senate on November 4, 2014 we need a vote on the CRPD sometime between November 12th and when the Congress closes down for Christmas. We need to know how each Senator feels about the CRPD, and what he/she has to say about it. For us a vote on the CRPD is a special vote. What Senators say about the CRPD before the vote is important to us. When Senator Harkin retires from the Senate this year we will be looking for new members to partner with us and champion disability issues that come before the Senate in the future.

However the vote on the CRPD would go, I think political strategists on all sides will be able to find a spin to suit a particular agenda. Their agenda Is not our agenda. Our agenda is to strengthen the position of the U.S. in the area of disability rights around the world and identify potential partners on disability issues in the Senate.

In a little over a week we will be voting. In the meantime gets some FaceTime with your Senators.

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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