Duane Stahl, Valley City
Believing international treaties too important for lame-duck sessions with many retired and defeated senators voting, 37 senators signed a letter to leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell promising to oppose consideration of treaties during that time. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is one of these signers.
Treaties likely to be pushed for ratification are the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and, perhaps, the UN Arms Trade Treaty.
The 37 signers are three more than enough to block ratification consideration-if some don't cave under pressure and change their minds.
Sen. Kent Conrad sent me a letter saying: "With so many pressing issues to address, the lame duck session is productive time that should not be wasted. Additionally, once elections are over, it is often easier to reach bipartisan compromises that were elusive during the campaign season. In my view, the Senate should not abandon its Constitutional duty to consider treaties during this time period."
Now, I know the Constitution gives the Senate power to consider treaties, but it certainly does not require they do so during lame-duck sessions. I know there are pressing issues to address, but the fact that many have been wasting time doesn't assure me that retiring and/or defeated senators will suddenly do right.
Thank Hoeven for his stand and urge him not to change.