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
Senate GOP Blocks UN Disabled Rights Treaty
Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole was left disabled by German machine gun fire in World War II.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

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. (More United Nations stories.)

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