Sen. McCain, NJ colleague press for ratification of disability treaty

Nov 4, 2013, 10:13 AM | Updated: 10:14 am

PHOENIX — Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona and a Democratic colleague teamed up for an op-ed piece in USA Today, to push for ratification of a worldwide treaty on rights of people with disabilities.

The article, co-written with New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, appeared in Monday’s editions.

The committee will be reviewing the treaty this week.

The article read, in part:

We understand our colleagues’ concerns about U.S. sovereignty and the primacy of our laws, and we are committed to addressing any legitimate concerns. But if ever there were a treaty tailor-made for the advocates of American sovereignty, it is this one. This treaty would not constrain our sovereignty; it would extend the protection of human rights on which America has proudly led the world for decades. It would demand that the world be more like America.

As the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Here are the facts:

This treaty would do nothing to change America’s domestic laws regarding abortion. Likewise, nothing in the treaty would impact the right of U.S. parents to home-school their children. As a matter of U.S. and international law, this treaty would hand no power to the United Nations or any other international body to change America’s laws. The opposite is true: The treaty would advance America’s high standards for the treatment of people with disabilities to other nations.

The piece pointed out that almost 58 millions Americans have a disability.

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Sen. McCain, NJ colleague press for ratification of disability treaty