Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly
Members login
  • TrustLaw
  • Members Portal
Subscribe Donate

Republicans block UN treaty to protect people with disabilities

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 4 Dec 2012 22:24 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-aid hum-war
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

(Corrects to show Senator Harry Reid is from Nevada in paragraph 5)

By Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Republican lawmakers on Tuesday blocked a treaty to protect people with disabilities from discrimination despite a passionate plea from former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who was severely wounded in World War Two.

The Senate voted 61-38 to pass the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, falling short of the 66 votes needed to ratify the treaty.

The former Republican presidential nominee and Senate majority leader from Kansas tried to persuade Republicans to ratify the treaty and sat in a wheelchair on the sidelines of the Senate floor as lawmakers voted.

Only eight Republicans, including Vietnam War veteran Senator John McCain of Arizona, voted with the Democratic majority in the Senate.

"It is a sad day when we cannot pass a treaty that simply brings the world up to the American standard for protecting people with disabilities because the Republican Party is in thrall to extremists and ideologues," said top Democratic Senator Harry Reid of Nevada.

The treaty was modeled on a U.S. law that is designed to ensure that people with disabilities have equal opportunities in employment as well as state and local government services.

Ultra-conservatives associated with the Tea Party, including former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, had opposed the treaty saying it threatened U.S. sovereignty and parental rights.

Santorum, who has a daughter with special needs, had argued that the treaty would effectively put the United States under international law and give the U.N. discretion over decisions about how special needs children are educated.

Dole was the 1996 Republican presidential nominee and 1976 conservative vice-presidential nominee. (Editing by Eric Walsh)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus
Most Popular
TOPICAL CONTENT
Topical content
LATEST SLIDESHOW

Latest slideshow

See allSee all
FEATURED JOBS
Featured jobs