Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Harry Reid Questions GOP's Rationality On Fiscal Cliff After Disability Treaty Fails

The failure of Republicans to ratify a treaty on disabilities raises questions about their rationality in fiscal cliff negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid argued Wednesday.

Republicans opposed ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Tuesday, based on the debunked grounds that it threatens United States sovereignty and the rights of homeschoolers.

"Consider yesterday's failure, the disabilities convention, at the hands of the Tea Party," Reid said on the Senate floor. "This shouldn't have been a battle, but extreme elements of the Republican Party picked a fight where there was nothing to fight about."

Reid noted that even some of its supporters -- including GOP cosponsors -- turned on the measure, which is unpopular with people on the right who think the U.N. is trying to take over the United States.

"This treaty, already ratified by 125 countries, would hold foreign nations to the same high standard of treatment the U.S. already maintains for people with disabilities," Reid said. "And it would safeguard American citizens traveling, working and serving abroad."

That's the kind of thing Reid suggested most people would support, including people like former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.), who came to the Senate Tuesday in support of the treaty.

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