Recently our Project 535 volunteers met in the Capitol for a briefing with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Will Estrada (Home School Legal Defense Association) regarding the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and how it will hurt America. Our volunteers traveled from as far away as California, Georgia, and Florida all the way to Washington, D.C., to represent the thousands of CWA members in their home states. After an incredible briefing, these committed volunteers met with over 30 Senate offices to oppose the CRPD.
The briefing highlighted the fact that the CRPD is nothing but a feel-good attempt at limiting freedom in the United States and abroad. While it claims to promote and defend the rights of disabled persons, in reality, this treaty has the potential to hurt parents and caregivers of persons with disabilities, while instituting far-reaching U.N. oversight, regulations, and control. If the Senate ratifies the CRPD treaty, a foreign committee would have the authority to trump parents' wishes concerning their child's education, as well as current U.S. law. Additionally, as is the case with many U.N. treaties, the CRPD would infringe on United States sovereignty by subjecting our nation to foreign and anti-American biases.
After the briefing, CWA volunteers met with senators and their staff members throughout the day to discuss our concerns about the CRPD treaty. While not all the offices agreed with our position, all were gracious during our meetings. The highlight was when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) took time out of his busy schedule to visit with us.
In nearly every office, volunteers were informed that the CRPD was not a priority for the Senate at this time and would not be brought to the floor. Ironically, the day after our lobby day, Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) attempted to bring the treaty to the floor under a unanimous consent agreement. They would have likely succeeded were it not for Sen. Lee's firm opposition.
This underhanded maneuver highlights the critical need for us all to make our voices heard on this issue. While we all agree that the United States should protect the rights of persons with disabilities, we also believe that Americans should be the ones making laws for America. Your state senators want to hear from you, their constituents! The time is now to make phone calls, write letters of opposition, and make your opinion on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities heard. Click here for our CWALAC information sheet, which outlines CWALAC's concerns with the CRPD treaty.
Nicole Noyes is an intern with Concerned Women for America's Ronald Reagan Memorial Internship Program.