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Senate Fails to Ratify UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The purpose of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”

… is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

Yesterday, Sen. John Kerry and former Sen. Bob Dole, among others, urged their Senate colleagues to ratify this UN Disability pact, but fell six votes short. According to Boston.com, the pact

… has already been approved by 125 countries, including China and Russia. Eight Republicans, including Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and the Senate’s two independents joined Democrats in the 61-38 tally. …

Proponents argued that the treaty would help further advance rights for the disabled, including Americans already protected by the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act but who, under the treaty, would benefit from barriers falling across the world.

President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act into law, in 1990. President George W. Bush supported the UN treaty, and in 2009, President Obama became a signatory, which, according to the Boston.com story, “signal(ed) the country’s intent to ratify the agreement.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, looking frail and requiring a wheelchair, returned to the chamber on Tuesday in a symbolic show of support for the treaty. …

Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona and staunch supporter of the treaty, read from a letter written by Dole.

The vote failed, as CNN’s Political Ticker puts it, because

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

Or as the Boston.com piece described it, there was a

… a solid block of GOP members who blocked the bill because of concerns over abortion, US sovereignty, and timing.

ABC News noted:

The convention would not create any new rights that don’t already exist under U.S. law and would not require changes to existing legislation. In fact, it would encourage other countries to model their treatment of disabled people around the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 … .

The eight Senate Republicans who voted to ratify the treaty: Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire), John Barrasso (Wyoming), Scott Brown (Massachusetts), Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (Maine), Richard Lugar (Indiana), John McCain (Arizona), and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).

More about the GOP opposition at The Cable:

The treaty engendered the late opposition of some Senate Republicans and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who activated his Patriot PAC to build grassroots conservative momentum against ratification. The Heritage Foundation’s advocacy arm, Heritage Action, has also taken up the cause of opposing the treaty based on the idea it infringes upon American sovereignty, along with the Family Research Council.

Santorum claimed the treaty ‘would put the state in the position of determining what is in the best interest of a disabled child,’ and allow the government to overrule parents when making decisions about their disabled children.

… Rep. Mike Lee (R-UT) … decried the treaty as an assault on American sovereignty. Lee argued with Kerry during Tuesday’s floor debate over whether the treaty would affect U.S. law, as Lee claimed. Kerry pointed out that the treaty’s ratification would not change U.S. law … .

In response, Lee admitted that the treaty does not directly alter U.S. law, but said it could have unintended consequences in the future.

Also at The Cable:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued a statement accusing Republicans of succumbing to pressure from right wing groups and promising to bring the treaty up again in the Senate next year.

‘Today, we had a chance to lead, and we failed because a small group of Republican senators fear the Tea Party more than they care about equality for people with disabilities,’ Reid said.

(John Kerry Urging Passage of Disabilities Treaty via KerrySenate.org)

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18 Responses to Senate Fails to Ratify UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

  1. Solo December 5, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    A truly sad spectacle!

  2. ladywalker68 December 5, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    Just when I thought the Republicruds couldn’t suck any more than they do. These people have no souls.

  3. jinbaltimore December 5, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    “…it infringes upon American sovereignty,…”

    To what? be a-holes? jeebus!

  4. pritesh December 5, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    The next time you hear one of the DC insiders talking about how Obama needs to work with the other side, just ask how do yo work with crazy.

  5. Art Pronin December 5, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Reid said he will rbing the treaty up for another vote in the next congree. he better.

  6. secularhumanizinevoluter December 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    lays out there plain and simple the level of crazy we are dealing with. And yet SOME posters here insist on equating the two sides…as if the repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERChristians actually had some sort of reality based point to their gibbering. santorum fer jeebuc crispies sakes…santorum spoke against this treaty and these ass monkies agreed with him.

  7. Isis December 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Disgusting.

  8. mjsmith December 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    The Senate is run by the democrat party. Why are the Republicans being blamed for this? What is the Rights of Persons with Disabilities? Does anyone except 3rd World tyrants even need the U.N.?

    • DaGoat December 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

      Looks like it required a 2/3 vote, mj. As far as the resolution goes it looks OK to me, although these UN resolutions are more bark then bite and I’m not sure it has much practical effect. I suspect the GOP sentiment was driven mostly by distrust of the UN.

      Also if my math is right a Democrat or two voted against it?

    • Solo December 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

      Your kidding right?

    • Cujo359 December 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      As DaGoat says, it’s a treaty ratification, which requires a 2/3 vote for reasons I don’t remember (I don’t know if that’s a Senate rule, or a constitutional requirement, IOW).

      The roll call shows that all the “nay” votes, and the one abstention, are Republicans. This is one you can blame on the GOP, I’m afraid.

      The Senate has a long tradition of not ratifying treaties like this, which means anything that requires the U.S. to act in a humane, responsible way. Part of the reason, I’m sure, is that 2/3 vote requirement.

      • DaGoat December 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

        OK thanks Cujo, the 2 independents messed me up doing the math in my head.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter December 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      1.”The Senate is run by the democrat party. Why are the Republicans being blamed for this?”

      I have been admonished not to comment on the watage of the light bulb that equates to your knowledge and intellect so I won’t. Instead I will give you a quick Civics lesson since you were obviously absent on the day they covered this in Civics class. There was a “super majority or 60 votes needed to ratify this treaty. The repugnantklan, even with 6 defections had enough scum sucking neanderthals to prevent that 60 number from being reached. So THAT is not why the repugnantklan/teabaggers are being “blamed for this” that is why the repugnantklan/teabaggers are RESPONSIBLE for this. There…understand now?

      2. What is the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?”

      basically the same human rights as anyone else..they should not be discriminated against or punished for their physical/mentalstate or orientation.

      3.” Does anyone except 3rd World tyrants even need the U.N.?”

      Sorry but I only have time for one civics class today…but you might want to look up something called the Geneva Conventions.

      • mjsmith December 6, 2012 at 9:22 am #

        Geneva Convention – Is that the justification that the U.N. used to do absolutley nothing in Rwanda and Sudan? Does the Geneva convention say it is acceptable to support al-quadea and other terror groups to overthrow the Syrian government and turn the place into another Lebanon?

        • secularhumanizinevoluter December 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

          1.”Geneva Convention — Is that the justification that the U.N. used to do absolutley nothing in Rwanda and Sudan?”

          Well no. As usual you would seem to be completely disconnected from reality on this one also. HOWEVER the UN DID in fact have people on the ground in Rwanda and the Sudan and in the case of Sudan has brokered cease fires and agreements between the waring parties. My GOOSDNESS you are ill informed on ignorant on so many subjects!!

          2.” Does the Geneva convention say it is acceptable to support al-quadea and other terror groups to overthrow the Syrian government and turn the place into another Lebanon?”

          Stupid non-reality situation based question but the simple answer would be no. The Geneva Conventions have nothing to do with the fictional situation you seem to be obsessing about.

  9. mjsmith December 6, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    I was watching the Daily Show last night when Jon Stewart was talking about this. Very funny. I am not sure why this did not pass. I do not see any good it would of done if it had passed. Symbolic gestures are sort of a waste of time. Why was our Senate doing something other than working towards lowering our debt?

    • secularhumanizinevoluter December 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      1.”I was watching the Daily Show last night when Jon Stewart was talking about this. Very funny.”

      Yes, it was truly funny when he points out the utter hypocrisy of the repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERCVhristianfascits isn’t it…I mean they are such a target rich environment!!

      2.”I am not sure why this did not pass.”

      Then you need to pull your head out of your neather regions far enough so your ears and eyes are exposed so you can see reality. It didn’t pass because the repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERChristianfascists were worried gays and womens reproductive rights would be covered.

      3.” I do not see any good it would of done if it had passed. Symbolic gestures are sort of a waste of time.”

      It would not have been “symbolic” and if you had pulled your head out as far as I suggested earlier you would clearly see that.

      4.”Why was our Senate doing something other than working towards lowering our debt?”

      The Senate debates and does many, many things…or at least it should but the repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERChristian obstructionist domestic terrorists have been working overtime in their on going war on the American public and economy.

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