Despite Dole appearance, Senate fails to ratify disabilities treaty
December 4th, 2012
01:56 PM ET
8 years ago

Despite Dole appearance, Senate fails to ratify disabilities treaty

Washington (CNN) - Senate Republicans blocked ratification of a United Nations treaty aimed at promoting the rights of disabled people around the world, despite an appearance on the Senate floor by former Republican Sen. Bob Dole, in a wheelchair, making a last-minute effort to garner GOP support.

Conservatives warned it might allow the U.N. to impinge on the rights of disabled people and their families in the United States.

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The measure - known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - needed 67 votes for ratification but only got 61.

Dole, the 89-year-old former Republican senator from Kansas who is disabled from a war injury, lobbied his GOP colleagues in a last-ditch effort to persuade more Republicans to back the treaty.
After the vote, the hallways around the Senate floor were crowded with disability advocates angry and saddened by the defeat.

Supporters of the measure – which included Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona – argued ratification wouldn't impact rights in the U.S. but would help promote the rights of the disabled overseas.

"This treaty is about the behavior of other countries and their willingness to raise their treatment of people with disabilities to our level. It's that simple," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. "This isn't a treaty about changing America. It's a treaty to change the world to be more like America."

Filed under: Robert Dole • Senate
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Just goes to show you that Republicans are the problem in Congress. They're just not obstructionists, but they're heartless as well.

    December 4, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Oh boy! Another reason to be ashamed of our country! Sweet!

    December 4, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Ryan

    Are you kidding me! Please 2014 please vote this current GOP OUT!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Marry

    The GOP has become a truly shameful bunch! Pro-life?? Yes but only for 9 month!

    December 4, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    On the other hand why should I be surprised.
    Republicans don't care what happens to healthy Americans, much less disabled foreigners in other countries.

    December 4, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Clearly, we just avoided the rest of the UN members' plan to send in armies of disabled illegal immigrants demanding Medicare as the first wave of the new world order take over of the USA. What an absolutely disgusting group fo jackholes those 28 Teatroll Senators are.

    Bottom line: THIS WAS A FAILURE TO LEAD.

    December 4, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. rs

    The GOP (the so-called "Party of Life") crashes into reality again. Not only do we see Republican obstructionism again on display, we see their utter lack of humanity as well. These are deeply sick people.

    December 4, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. Todd in DC

    I wonder if Dole is beginning to regret being a republican, or at least, regretting what the GOP has deteriorated to.

    And yet, many of this country's "takers" are poor republicans, many of whom are on disability. And they wonder why they lost so much in 2012, and would have lost even more if it weren't for gerrymandering of districts.

    December 4, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. The Dude

    Yet one more group of citizens that the GOP has alienated. Are they really that stupid?

    December 4, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Let me make this simple for you:


    December 4, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. Gregory M. Newbold

    Americans that are paying attention should recognize that even when 1 of their own comes before them and seeks reason, these Republican obstructionists can`t get anything done in a bi-partisan manner.

    December 4, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This vote doesn't shock me at all one bit. Republicans can vote for sending my brothers and sisters off to war, but then turn a blind eye to them when they come disabled or with PTSD. They have no problem of using 9/11 as a political punchline, but have the audacity to vote against the 9/11 1st Responders Bill. But you know how the slogan goes: IOKIYAR

    December 4, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. Joi Gibson

    It leaves you speechless. Do these conservative obstructionists actually comprehend what they are voting on or do they just automatically say no? These people give the impression that if you are physically or mentally challenged in some way then you have no right to be treated with dignity. Shameful!!!!!

    December 4, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Jim M

    Maybe the GOP Senators should have actually read the proposal. Nothing in it allows any changes to US laws.

    December 4, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Facts don't Lie

    maybe they are afraid that the disabled might be another group that would vote Democrat in 2014 so they better get them feeling disowed and disavowed pretty quickly.

    December 4, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Thomas

    It's very sad ,
    Dole has the good honest compassionate side of such older Republicans as Ronald Reagan .

    Today's GOP party has nothing !

    December 4, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    Hippity dippity shining beacon on the hill yammer yammer the one the rest of the world looks up to for guidance and blah blah envies because of our advanced culture gabba gabba world leader herpa derp!!!

    American exceptionalism indeed: everyone EXCEPT America thinks its time to acknowledge, protect and promote the rights of the disabled around the world. What's next? Repeal of the ADA? Cutting wheelchair funding for wounded vets? WAKE UP TO THE LACK OF CHARACTER, COMPASSION AND COMPETENCE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE AISLE, AMERICA.

    December 4, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. Stan

    In other news of the day, Republican House members have introduced a bill that would outlaw currency to be replaced by the bartering system.

    December 4, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. Jules

    What more can the GOP do to show how much they really care about human life? They are so caught up in the right wing crazy conspiracy theories that they can't function in reality. What a clueless, heartless bunch the GOP has become.

    December 4, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. Dan5404

    "Let 'em die" is the continuing theme of the GOP right-wingers. They are so extremely arrogant and mean-spirited, I can't believe people with any kind of humanity in their hearts could vote for them. Mitt's 47% falsehood lives on among these radicals.

    December 4, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    "despite an appearance on the Senate floor by former Republican Sen. Bob Dole, in a wheelchair, making a last-minute effort to garner GOP support."

    How interesting that Mr. Dole chose to humiliate his own party of societal misfits by forcing them to show once again that they have become nothing but a hardened group of egomaniacs of the "me, first" mantra ... and devoid of simple human compassion and dignity.

    December 4, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. W.

    There are times when I am ashamed to be an American.

    December 4, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Peter

    It seemed like a good treaty on the surface for sure but there were some red flag areas that think most Americans would not be for and I am ultimately glad we didn't ratify this treaty. I don't think the government should have the final say of what medical treatments a child with disabilities should recieve, I think that right belongs to their parents who know their child's situation better than anyone else and the doctors the family take their child to.

    December 4, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    There was a time when the Republican viewed as a sacred mission the obligation to teach the world about American morals and values. Not anymore. When an international treaty that seeks to raise the rest of the world up to the standards we have given to the handicapped for years is defeated on the basis of a sovereignty argument, you know that the GOP has truly gone round the bend. They slapped Bob Dole in the face with this, which is a disgrace.

    December 4, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. Eva Kellogg

    If Republicans can't get anything done, cut their benefits – save money. A bit of their own medicine might be in order.

    December 4, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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