Republicans should have passed UN disabilities treaty

April 1, 2014 | 3:16 am

As President Harry Truman once said, if you want a friend in Washington D.C., get a dog.

Sen. Chuck Grassley certainly proved this old saw to be true with his no vote on the United Nations treaty on disabilities. This treaty was designed to bring the world’s countries up to the standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act and was widely supported by a number of prominent Republicans, including Grassley’s former colleague, Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas.

The ailing Mr. Dole, who was severely disabled in World War II, was sitting in a wheelchair as Grassley and 37 other Republicans cast “no” votes.

Arguments from the Tea Party set that the treaty would impinge on U.S. sovereignty were widely discounted, but were, nevertheless, enough to ruffle the skirts of the ever timid Republican establishment. Sen. John Kerry has promised to bring the treaty up for ratification again next year. One hopes that Grassley and others might gain some courage in the interim.

Philip Andrew

Iowa City

 

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