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Republican Senators vote against Disability Treaty, despite the presence of Bob Dole

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- Led by Republican opposition, the Senate on Tuesday rejected a United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled that is modeled after the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.

With 38 Republicans casting "no" votes, the 61-38 vote fell five short of the two-thirds majority needed to ratify a treaty. The vote took place in an unusually solemn atmosphere, with senators sitting at their desks rather than milling around the podium. Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, looking frail and in a wheelchair, was in the chamber to support the treaty.

The treaty, already signed by 155 nations and ratified by 126 countries, including Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, states that nations should strive to assure that the disabled enjoy the same rights and fundamental freedoms as their fellow citizens. Republicans objected to taking up a treaty during the lame-duck session of the Congress and warned that the treaty could pose a threat to U.S. national sovereignty.

"I do not support the cumbersome regulations and potentially overzealous international organizations with anti-American biases that infringe upon American society," said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.

They were not swayed by support for the treaty from some of the party's prominent veterans, including the 89-year-old Dole, who was disabled during World War II; Sen. John McCain, who also suffered disabling injuries in Vietnam; Sen. Dick Lugar, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee; and former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh. Eight Republicans voted to approve the treaty.

The treaty also was widely backed by the disabilities community and veterans groups.

Democratic support for the convention was led by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, one of the key players in writing the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

"It really isn't controversial," Kerry, D-Mass., said. "What this treaty says is very simple. It just says that you can't discriminate against the disabled. It says that other countries have to do what we did 22 years ago when we set the example for the world and passed the Americans with Disabilities Act."

The ADA put the United States in the forefront of efforts to secure equal rights for the disabled, and it became the blueprint for the U.N. treaty, formally the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The treaty was negotiated by the George W. Bush administration. It was completed in 2006 and President Barack Obama signed it in 2009.

The United Nations estimates that 650 million people around the world are disabled, about 10 percent of world population.

Kerry and other backers stressed that the treaty requires no changes in U.S. law, that a committee created by the treaty to make recommendations has no power to change laws and that the treaty cannot serve as a basis for a lawsuit in U.S. courts.

They said the treaty, by encouraging other countries to emulate the rights and facilities for the disabled already existing in the United States, would be of benefit for disabled Americans, particularly veterans, who want to work, travel or study abroad.

Supporters also rejected the argument that it was inappropriate to consider an international treaty in a post-election lame-duck session. They said that since the 1970s the Senate had voted to approve treaties 19 times during lame-duck sessions.

But in September, 36 Republican senators signed a letter saying they would not vote for any treaty during the lame duck,

The opposition was led by tea party favorite Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who argued that the treaty by its very nature threatened U.S. sovereignty. Specifically he expressed concerns that the treaty could lead to the state, rather than parents, determining what was in the best interest of disabled children in such areas as home schooling, and that language in the treaty guaranteeing the disabled equal rights to reproductive health care could lead to abortions.

by Anonymousreply 3812/07/2012

Xenophobic twits. They have no business in congress.

by Anonymousreply 112/04/2012

The public doesn't hear about stuff like this.

by Anonymousreply 212/04/2012

I don't feel sorry for the jackass Dole. He knew what was going on within the republican party and he never spoke out against it.

by Anonymousreply 312/04/2012

The GOP just can't stop digging itself deepeer in a hole with its irrational attittudes toward any kind of regulation.

by Anonymousreply 412/04/2012

Says it all, doesn't it? I feel sorry for Bob Dole having to sit there and witness how far our country has sunk.

I

by Anonymousreply 512/04/2012

This new Republican Tea Party is so destructive and divisive. They are sad, pitiful people who need to become irrelevant very soon.

by Anonymousreply 612/04/2012

[quote] The treaty, already signed by 155 nations and ratified by 126 countries, including Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia,

I love that crazy Russia and china don't have a problem with it, but a bunch of crazy, cruel, mean American republicans have a problem with it. America, we suck

by Anonymousreply 712/04/2012

Horrible

by Anonymousreply 812/04/2012

The 7 Republicans who voted for Disability Treaty:

Ayotte

Brown

Collins

Lugar

McCain

Murkowski

Snowe

by Anonymousreply 912/04/2012

The crazy part is they had no problem approving of the treaty in 2006. Now all of a sudden they are against it? WTF? Do they really think no one is going to notice that?

by Anonymousreply 1012/04/2012

How can anyone stand Republicans? This is the party of "God"????

by Anonymousreply 1112/04/2012

Fucking fascists.

by Anonymousreply 1212/04/2012

Wow. When China and Russia care more than you do, you know you have a problem.

by Anonymousreply 1312/04/2012

The Framers of the Constitution opposed entantling alliances. That is why they made it so difficult to ratify a treaty (2/3 of the Senate needed).

by Anonymousreply 1412/04/2012

The Framers of the Constitution were also against the existence of parties and expected law-makers to vote on the merits of the case; and they also believed in the separation of church and state.

by Anonymousreply 1512/04/2012

They also believed in taxing the rich and supporting the poor, which none of today's Republicans believe in.

by Anonymousreply 1612/04/2012

I wonder what churches they all go to.

by Anonymousreply 1712/04/2012

This is typical. The point of the treaty is to put pressure on OTHER countries to adopt laws that we already have. Instead, the Republicans twisted it into foreign dictators demanding home school mothers put in wheelchair ramps!

by Anonymousreply 1812/04/2012

Republicans: the gift that keeps giving.

by Anonymousreply 1912/04/2012

[quote]But in September, 36 Republican senators signed a letter saying they would not vote for any treaty during the lame duck,

Quack, quack.

by Anonymousreply 2012/04/2012

Of the 38 who voted against it, who, besides Scott Brown is a lame duck? Olympia Snowe is being replaced by Angus King, who sounds like a sensible person. How would the vote turn out with the newly elected senate?

by Anonymousreply 2112/04/2012

How many of you will take the time to find out if your Senator opposed it and let them know what you think?

by Anonymousreply 2212/04/2012

R21, Scott Brown & Olympia Snowe both voted in FAVOR of the Treaty. They will both be gone from the House in January, as will Richard Lugar, who also voted in favor.

by Anonymousreply 2312/04/2012

After Dubya blew off Nancy Reagan's begging to reconsider stem cell research, should we be surprised here?

by Anonymousreply 2412/04/2012

They have no shame. Someone spread this on Facebook

by Anonymousreply 2512/04/2012

Thanks, R23. I thought Brown had voted against it as part of preserving his "credentials" for a future run.

by Anonymousreply 2612/04/2012

R26, if Brown wants to get elected again in Massachusetts, I think he wants to still come across as a moderate. That's why he voted with the Democrats.

by Anonymousreply 2712/04/2012

You Americans are heartless bitches.

by Anonymousreply 2812/04/2012

[quote] How many of you will take the time to find out if your Senator opposed it and let them know what you think?

My senators are Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

I already know how they voted.

by Anonymousreply 2912/04/2012

The eventual goal of this party is to have NO VOTES.

by Anonymousreply 3012/04/2012

LOL R30, seems like it. They are so sick and hateful. All they care about is low taxes, stepping on civil rights, controlling women's bodies and big corporations making billions. Nothing else counts.

by Anonymousreply 3112/04/2012

Up for original thread.

by Anonymousreply 3212/05/2012

Obligatory Rachel Maddow link

by Anonymousreply 3312/05/2012

thanks

by Anonymousreply 3412/05/2012

Republicans are disgusting.

by Anonymousreply 3512/05/2012

The Republicans are like Datalounge posters. No respect for the 'elders'.

by Anonymousreply 3612/05/2012

bump

by Anonymousreply 3712/05/2012

Yes because "china does not engage forced gender based abortions".

by Anonymousreply 3812/07/2012
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