The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 15, 2012

Heartless lawmakers

Daily Item

---- — On Dec. 4, the U.S. Senate failed to ratify a treaty dealing with the rights of people with disabilities. Under the leadership of George H. W. Bush, we adopted the Americans with Disabilities Law (ADA) in 1991. That law reflects the character of a nation that has compassion for people who are disabled. It is our national policy.

Disabled people ought to have the same access as the rest of us to public places, such as restrooms, theaters, employment, public transportation and voting places. After two long wars, we now have more than 40,000 injured veterans. Many have catastrophic injuries. Our war coalition partners look to our ADA as a model for the world. Many of our veterans are permanently impaired and benefit greatly from the ADA, and they surely deserve it.

The treaty failed to get the two-thirds majority required in the U.S. Senate, getting only 62 of 100 votes. Sen. John McCain supported this treaty. Former Sen. Bob Dole, another war hero, came to the Senate floor in a wheelchair to show his support. How could Sen. Toomey and 37 other U.S. senators in 2012 vote against a treaty that uses the 1991 ADA as a model to be considered around the world?

The "no" votes were led by Tea Party senators. Now we see clearly how heartless they can be. Over 155 nations have signed onto the treaty. I read his implausible explanation that it might hurt home schooling in the U.S. Really senator?

Shame on you, senator. It's time for accountability. If you can't do the right thing, we will get someone who will in the next election.

Marvin J. Rudnitsky, J. D.