Dole back on Hill to try and push through U.N. disabilities treaty
July 23rd, 2014
04:19 PM ET
3 months ago

Dole back on Hill to try and push through U.N. disabilities treaty

(CNN) – Hoping to spur more Republican support, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole returned to the U.S. Capitol to urge ratification of a global disability rights treaty.

The one-time Kansas GOP lawmaker, who had two stints leading the chamber before resigning to run for president in 1996, joined veterans and rights groups at a news conference on Wednesday on the U.N. measure.

“This is not a Republican or Democrat treaty. It is not liberal or conservative, it is just the right thing to do,” he said, although acknowledging it’s an “uphill fight” to get it approved.

Dole, who lost the use of his right arm from World War II combat injuries, has long been an outspoken advocate for people with disabilities.

He appeared on the Senate floor in 2012 when the treaty fell five votes short of ratification.

As stipulated by the Constitution, the Senate must approve all treaties with two-thirds support. The House does not have a role.

The treaty includes protections against discrimination in the workforce as well as equal access to education, amongst other basic human rights.

Advocates maintain it reinforces rights written in the landmark American with Disabilities Act without interfering with U.S. sovereignty.

According to Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, 148 nations have already signed it.

But opponents, like Republican Sen. James Inhofe, worry that ratification would place stringent global authority over the issue.

He said at the time of the last vote his constituents in Oklahoma were concerned “the treaty will be used to interfere with the ability of parents with disabled children to decide what action is in the best interest of their children. Unelected, foreign bureaucrats, not parents, would decide what is in the best interests of the disabled child, even in the home.”

All of the Senators who voted no previously were Republicans.

But other Senate Republicans back it, including John McCain and Kelly Ayotte. She dismissed fears that the U.N. treaty would overshadow U.S. law.

“This treaty does not impose new responsibilities on the United States of America,” she said.

Advocates from several veterans’ organizations as well as rights groups for people with disabilities reaffirmed, for instance, that it would facilitate Americans who wish to travel abroad without impediment.

“I have seen what needs to happen in the world, and I know that U.S. ratification of the CRPD will not only benefit Americans and it will – it will really benefit our access to the world, access for veterans and for Americans who wish to study, work, volunteer,” but that it would also set an example for other countries to follow suit, said Rhonda Neuhaus, of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.


Filed under: Bob Dole • Congress
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    A better spokesman for this issue you will not find: unfortunately, I doubt the fools that run his former party will be swayed.

    July 23, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. rs

    You can already hear the TEA Party/GOP response: "Who do those disabled people think they are demanding special rights...".
    Todays GOP won't even spend the time thinking about this, or listening to one of their past leaders.

    July 23, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. just asking

    should the un rename the security council to the nosecurity council since russia is a permanent member?

    July 23, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    “This is not a Republican or Democrat treaty. It is not liberal or conservative, it is just the right thing to do,” he said, although acknowledging it’s an “uphill fight” to get it approved."

    I'd like to see it approved. I've always admired this man for his dedication to the disabled. Perhaps the second time around our congressional folks will re-examine what it means to do the right thing.

    July 23, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    -what a personality!!! Till he has one, he waited this long, well, these idiots are Republicans. Do you trust these, USA. God bless!!!!!!!

    July 23, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. Chris..E.al

    I like Dole but he needs to read the fine print we dont need the U.N. running our nation even tho we are in need of a LEADER AND N0T A CAMPAIGN FUND RAISER thats wasting the working man and womans tax money and taking it an giving our money to who he sees fit in HIS eyes .

    July 23, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    We do not NEED a UN treaty. We are perfectly capable of taking care of our own.........if we CHOOSE to do so.

    We are doing so much for so many countries, and IGNORING our own people's needs.

    July 23, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Well there happens to be a difference between bigotry and disagreeing with something. It really comes down to how you express yourself. There is a huge difference between saying "gay marriage is just like bestiality" and "I dont agree with gay marriage" its all in the message."

    Newsflash: There is NO nice way to say "I don't believe you should have the same rights as me." I don't care how you sugarcoat it, code-speak it, doublethink it, superficially veil it, dogwhistle it, etc. Discrimination is the act of a bigot.

    July 23, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Lizzie

    rs, and jet most of those who support our disabled vets, are those you HATE so much.

    July 23, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. just asking

    Sniffit
    Newsflash: There is NO nice way to say "I don't believe you should have the same rights as me." I don't care how you sugarcoat it, code-speak it, doublethink it, superficially veil it, dogwhistle it, etc. Discrimination is the act of a bigot.
    --

    then why did you vote for that gay bigot obama in 2008???

    July 23, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Screw the UN and screw any treaty. Nothing but a worthless corrupt organization that does nothing but cost us billions and plants a spies nest right in our country. Give them the boot. Let them put their HQ in Switzerland.

    July 23, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Gurgyl, show some respect for someone who has walked through life without full use of his arm. Such a comment only speaks to your blinkered view of the world. You're no better than Tommy G and the rest of the Right-wing parrots in here. Grow up, and learn to spell.

    July 23, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    @Lizzie, don't assume you know who we support and do not support, and whether or not we support our vets. Stick to what you actually know, I'm sure its a short enough list.

    July 23, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    Nope, it'll never happen because it would be fit people and the GOP today is money uber alles. Sorry, Bob, but your party just won't do it.

    July 23, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. Gurgyl

    –you are right, sorry.

    July 23, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    @Lizzie, it's the Repubs that will keep this from passing, just like they block every legislation that will help people including vets. They are the ones who don't support vets, not he Dems.

    July 23, 2014 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Hooper

    Vote republican. Help do away with mental health.

    July 23, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. The REAL Truth...

    @Chris..E.al – a LEADER AND N0T A CAMPAIGN FUND RAISER thats wasting the working man and womans tax money and taking it an giving our money to who he sees fit in HIS eyes .
    ---------------------–
    Grow up! the fake outrage is juvenile at best!! They all do it.. Ask how much hallyberton profited from veep hand outs from 2000-2008 ?? HINT: north of $38 BILLION !!

    July 23, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. Dumbas[R]ocks

    Bob Dole looks like what the US would have looked like if the [R]s had won the presidency in 2008 and 2012: stunned, worn out, collapsing from the inside.

    If the [R]s were truthful, they would use him as their poster boy in 2016. Picture as above, with a caption: "This is what we can do for you America!"

    July 23, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Tommy G

    The Real Tom Paine
    @ Tommy G
    When you can present an argument that has actual, verifiable data, instead of personal attacks or inane, right-wing drivel, please let us know. However, given your track record, I'm not hopeful for you unless divine intervention takes place. Have a nice day.
    ---

    OK, little Tommie, here is my original post that you have responded to with name calling and gibberish in numerous threads today.

    What isn't factual? Are you denying that Obama has changed, delayed and altered Obamacare 30-40 (lost count) times? Are you denying there is more to come? Are you denying that Obama delayed the disastrous employer mandate until after the November election? ALL of this is FACT. I am sorry if you cannot deal with these facts and that they are damaging to Obama and the Democrats but that is their own doing, or is it undoing? No how about you accept reality and tell us all what Obamacare treats await us after the November election?

    =============================
    Obamacare is not and has not been implemented as the law required. The disaster of Obamacare was STOPPED by Obama with numerous delays and changes, unlawful delays and changes. To ask right now is deceitful because the worse parts of it are yet to come. Obama delayed them so the Democrats wouldn't get totally slaughtered this November. But you can be sure, the disaster called Obamacare is by no means over.

    July 23, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  21. Dumbas[R]ocks

    "We are doing so much for so many countries, and IGNORING our own people's needs."

    Oh Ricky-baby, cry me a bleeding-heart river! You are so, so disingenuously worried about providing for our own people when it can be used as a talking point against supporting a UN initiative.

    Yet where were you and your concern for our own people when Shrub went country-building in Iraq based on nothing but the lies you rightwing goons gleefully ate up like candy? Not only did YOU kill more Americans than were killed on 9-11, but YOU bankrupted our country in doing so. TO WHAT END, sayeth our people?

    Hypocrisy sure does ring loud and clear in today's [R] party.

    July 23, 2014 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  22. Smitty

    Didn't Obammy campaign on saying he was going to fix the va??? I guess he is too busy fundraising and pretending to be a celeb instead of working. Nothing but lip service from Obumbles.

    July 23, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Lynda/Minnesota says:
    July 23, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm
    “This is not a Republican or Democrat treaty. It is not liberal or conservative, it is just the right thing to do,” he said, although acknowledging it’s an “uphill fight” to get it approved.”

    I’d like to see it approved. I’ve always admired this man for his dedication to the disabled. Perhaps the second time around our congressional folks will re-examine what it means to do the right thing.

    Brava my friend!!! Brava!!!👏👏👏

    I also agree with Tom Paine's comment. This man deserves respect. Too bad his own party is going to throw him under the bus, run over him, back up and run him over again. This new Republican Party is heartless.

    July 23, 2014 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. rs

    Lizzie

    rs, and jet most of those who support our disabled vets, are those you HATE so much.
    _________________
    Really Lizzie? What Congress just said fixing the VA would cost too much? It's the Right here that's the problem.

    July 23, 2014 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  25. Hal

    The REAL Truth...

    @Chris..E.al – a LEADER AND N0T A CAMPAIGN FUND RAISER thats wasting the working man and womans tax money and taking it an giving our money to who he sees fit in HIS eyes .
    -------–
    Grow up! the fake outrage is juvenile at best!! They all do it.. Ask how much hallyberton profited from veep hand outs from 2000-2008 ?? HINT: north of $38 BILLION !!
    ----------------------
    And half of that 38 billion were no bid contracts signed during the 90's (clinton) that extended through parts of the Bush administration.

    July 23, 2014 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
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