Yesterday, I voted against a treaty that would have jeopardized U.S. sovereignty and the ability of American families to make decisions on their own regarding what is best for them and their family members. The stated goal of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Treaty was to protect the rights of the disabled, but in reality it would have done nothing to strengthen existing laws and protections and would have had the adverse effect of opening up our laws to international inspection and review from countries such as Cuba, China, and Syria among others. America is already a beacon to the rest of the world when it comes to caring for citizens with disabilities, why would we allow nations with such abysmal human rights records to have a say in how we care for our own disabled citizens?
I strongly support the rights and protections of disabled American citizens, and I am proud that our nation has concrete and robust laws in place to advance the cause of the disabled. During my time in Congress, I have supported – and participated in authoring – laws and programs that make a real difference in the everyday lives of the disabled, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act. The United States is a world leader when it comes to care for our disabled citizens, and we do not need to ratify a treaty that jeopardizes our sovereignty to prove that. The best thing we can do is continue to be the gold standard for protecting the rights of those with disabilities and let our example serve to influence other nations to do the right thing as well.