WASHINGTON (CBS LAS VEGAS) – Republicans rejected ratification of a treaty on disabilities from the United Nations, and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) pointed to the decision as evidence of GOP irrationality in fiscal talks.
Republicans opposed the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Tuesday, based on their belief that it threatens United States sovereignty and the rights of homeschoolers. Many of the supports, some of which were Republican cosponsors, flipped on ratifying the measure because many believe the U.N. is making a power grab over the U.S.
“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.”
“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.”
Reid used the rejection as evidence that Republicans have no intention of compromising in fiscal cliff legislation.
“These are the same Republicans with whom Democrats are supposed to reach an agreement to protect middle-class families from a tax increase,” Reid told reporters outside the Senate. “It’s difficult to engage in rational negotiation when one side holds well-known facts and proven truths in such low esteem.”
Sen. Reid continued that there are few “reasonable” Republicans left in Congress in regards to tax rate legislation.
“I still believe there are 26 reasonable Republicans willing to put their promise to serve constituents ahead of their pledge to Grover Norquist,” Reid said, referring the the leader of the anti-tax group, Americans for Tax Reform.
President Obama and the Democrats are pushing to keep taxes at current rates for couples with income under $250,000 and $200,000 for individual citizens. Current law states that taxes will revert to the Clinton-era rates for all people after the start of the year.
Democrats contend that Congress should pass the tax cuts for the mass majority of people fitting into that tax bracket (98 percent), and wait until January or February to fight the battle over the wealthiest 2 percent’s taxes later.