Senate GOP Blocks Disabled Rights Treaty
Bob Dole makes appeal; Kerry calls vote saddest day in years
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2012 2:06 AM CST
Updated Dec 5, 2012 5:00 AM CST
Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole was left disabled by German machine gun fire in World War II.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(Newser) – Bob Dole watched from a wheelchair on the Senate floor yesterday as his Republican former colleagues rejected a United Nations disability rights treaty modeled on the Americans with Disabilities Act he championed in 1990, the Kansas City Star reports. GOP opponents of the treaty claimed it would surrender American sovereignty to the UN. It needed 67 votes to pass but received only 61. Just eight Republicans voted in favor, including John McCain who, like Dole, was left disabled by war injuries.

After the vote, John Kerry said it was one of the saddest days he'd seen in nearly 28 years in the Senate, the New York Times reports. "This treaty was supported by every veterans group in America and Bob Dole made an inspiring and courageous personal journey back to the Senate to fight for it," he said. "It had bipartisan support, and it had the facts on its side, and yet for one ugly vote, none of that seemed to matter." Kerry vowed to keep fighting for the treaty, which was negotiated by George W. Bush and signed by President Obama in 2009.

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Dec 6, 2012 11:46 PM CST
Bob Dole's dick fell off when he heard.
Dec 6, 2012 6:22 PM CST
It saddens me to read this article summary. A great deal of information is left out that makes it sound like the treaty was/is ALL GOOD, and the opponents uncaring creeps. However there are a few seriously frightening portions in this treaty that, unless the legal language is remedied will not have a positive benefit on US disabled persons. I spent a great deal of time this week listening to the full senate testimony presented last summer concerning this treaty. The issue is not a lack of support for those with disabilities, as the article would imply, but the concern that supporting this UN treaty would actually LOWER standards in the US for disabled persons. The fact is that when the US ratifies a treaty our state laws are superseded by the treaty laws and definitions. This treaty would allow the US disability programs to be overseen by the folks in Geneva. I think the parents of disabled children should be able to say what treatments and programs they want their children involved with, not some committee in another country. Caring parents of disabled children protect children, fight for their needs to be met, and "encourage" a slow paying system to own up to their responsibilities. Take away authority from these good moms and dads and there is no motivation for the bureaucracy to move at all. I'm saddened to hear that John Kerry made those negative statements, but I feared it would be reported in this way. Check the facts. You will see that although the legal opinions presented said "This treaty will have no negative effect..." at the end of the testimony they turned to the person warning about the negative consequences and said, ..."I did not previously understand your argument." The warnings of the negative consequences were brought by a professor of law, with PhD in International Law, and not an ignorant person. The opposition was not opposition to helping those with disabilities get around in other countries, nor was it opposition to helping other countries improve their domestic laws to improve the situation for the disabled of other countries, the opposition was because of the negative results on Disability Rights in the United States. I'm thankful they voted against it. Once ratified, we would be STUCK with it. Let's get wording in there that protects parental rights for US parents of disabled children. You can check out further information at Protecting Children by EMPOWERING Parents.
Dec 5, 2012 5:25 PM CST
Truth, Justice and the American Way no longer exists. The Party of NO lead by Sen. Santorum of PA told the Big Lie to everyone's face and enough of the minority believed it -- even with Bob Dole sitting there in a wheelchair. But then, Santorum and the truth, are mutually exclusive items. This vote will be more fodder for the mid-term elections! I am amazed at the utter lack of thinking on the right-side of the aisle. I can only imagine what Bob Dole thinks... but then Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss unseated Max Clelan in 2002, by claimng Clelan -- a triple-amputee war veteran -- was SOFT on terrorism because he voted against a Bush2 bill that would strip Federal employees of the DoHS of their collective bargaining rights! And Georgia voters, it seemed, believed an ad that even GOP Sen. John McCain called "reprehensible". Protecting worker's rights is apparently not on Chambliss agenda... creating bigger government with their lucrative contracts for the military industrial complex is.