Senate rebuffs Bob Dole's appeal for passage disability treaty

  1. Senate rebuffs Dole's appeal for passage of UN disability treaty
    The Kansas City Star

    Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, his 89-year old body now weakened by age, illness and war injuries, sat quietly in a wheelchair on the Senate floor Tuesday, watching the debate over a United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled.
    He may have recalled an earlier time.

    More than 43 years ago, Dole delivered his first speech on the very same floor - on disability rights. Later, as one of the most powerful members of the Senate, he pushed through the Americans with Disabilities Act, a measure designed to protect citizens grappling with accidents and disease.

    Now he had come the Senate floor, perhaps for the last time, to persuade lawmakers to adopt a treaty supporters said would extend disability protections around the world.

    "Don't let Sen. Bob Dole down," Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts said, raising his voice, pointing at his former colleague. "Most importantly, don't let the Senate and the country down. Approve this treaty."
    It wasn't enough.

    Only 61 senators voted for the treaty, officially known as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Sixty-six votes were needed for passage. ...

    ... Among the 38 members voting against the measure: The two senators from Kansas, Republicans Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts. Both have known Dole for years. ...

    ... But other Republicans - including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who like Dole suffers from a war-related disability - pushed for approval, reading a statement from Dole into the record.
    "That's what this is all about," McCain said. "American leadership."
    Dole was accompanied to the floor by his wife Elizabeth, herself a former senator. Senate rules allow former members access to the floor, although it is rarely used. ...
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  3. by   TopazLover
    So sad that one important piece of legislation Sen. Dole got accomplished and has been adopted by the UN does not get US support. This subject crossed all kinds of barriers and has allowed those with physical challenges to get a fair deal. All that was wanted was to support the treaty to have that kind of access and response more world wide.

    Shame on those who do not recognize the importance of this treaty.
  4. by   StNeotser
    I think Sen Dole was a republican back in an era when they were worth a damn.
  5. by   herring_RN
    Quote from StNeotser
    I think Sen Dole was a republican back in an era when they were worth a damn.
    Some of them are now.
    Those who voted, "No." seem mean.
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    In fairness, we should look at the reasons why those who voted no looked so darn mean. Nothing in what you copied here told the other side of the story. So from your link:
    "I do not support the cumbersome regulations and potentially overzealous international organizations with anti-American biases that infringe upon American society," said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.

    Roberts and Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, who also voted no, had earlier written Senate leadership, asking it to withdraw the treaty until next year. Treaties, they argued, should not be decided in a lame duck session.

    But by Tuesday he had changed his mind. "Genuine concerns raised by the language of this treaty ... have made it clear that foreign officials should not be put in a position to interfere with U.S. policymaking," his statement said.

    And another side of the story:

    U.N. Treaty on the Rights of the Disabled - Betsy Woodruff - National Review Online

    Brace yourselves, everyone, because here’s something that might be surprising: Elected officials who vote against the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities don’t necessarily hate disabled people. Strange but true! In fact, a number of leaders in Washington vehemently oppose the treaty, and for good reason: Senate ratification wouldn’t accomplish anything substantial for Americans. It wouldn’t significantly improve the living conditions of disabled people overseas, and it could potentially undermine American sovereignty.........
    If you read the entire article, there seem to be many reasoned arguments against this treaty and it has absolutely nothing to do with hating disabled people or being mean.

    You can disagree - but it is only fair to let the other side tell it's story. I had not been following this story at all but the comment about being mean made me think I should actually do some research on WHY folks voted no. Instead of having a knee-jerk reaction. No offense intended here because I used to be guilty of this myself before coming on allnurses. Then I learned to look deeper because some smart person on here would come and tell me the real story.

    This isn't about being mean. It is a difference of opinion on whether this is smart for our country. As stated in the article, we have very strong support for folks with disabilities.

    (Sometimes that can be taken to extremes but that's another thread )

  7. by   herring_RN
    The vote was for the United States to approve the United Nations support for disabled people having rights.
    Of course it won't improve the lives of people in America. It lets the disabled people know we support them having the same rights disabled people have in the United States.

    Those who voted "no" distrust or disapprove of the United Nations.
    It was not an anti disabled vote. It was an anti UN vote.
  8. by   somenurse
    The vast majority of republicans voting against this, had zero to do with the USA. The USA ALREADY HAS these standards in place, since the first disability act of the 60s was passed. Nothing in the USA would have changed. This idea was COPYING what the USA already does, for decades now. This would have been asking the REST of the nations to follow our lead, in allowing access to busses, trains, airports, etc,
    which would be great for disabled americans (especially our veterans) who travel overseas to avoid the indignities of not being allowed into this building or that train, to have a wheelchair access toilet in the building, etc.

    I did kinda chuckle at the comments above, about having other nations follow the USA's example of how to allow access to buildings for disabled people, would, in any way, "threaten US sovereignty"??? what? If France or Romania decides they will ensure ramps, toilets, buses etc, are wheelchair access, how in the world would THAT make USA less of sovereign nation??? seems a bit far-fetched, doncha think?

    This is just the "Party of No" at it again. Lol, they even vote against their own ideas, if presented by democrat. Same exact idea they wrote up, even just months before, but, slammed down if presented by "other side"..
    some of their obstructionism is just baffling, like their voting against the "Jobs for Veterans" bill, of Setp 2012, just hard to understand their voting against it.
  9. by   TopazLover
    Harry Reid Questions GOP's Rationality On Fiscal Cliff After Disability Treaty Fails
    Republicans opposed ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Tuesday, based on the debunked grounds that it threatens United States sovereignty and the rights of homeschoolers.
    "Consider yesterday's failure, the disabilities convention, at the hands of the Tea Party," Reid said on the Senate floor. "This shouldn't have been a battle, but extreme elements of the Republican Party picked a fight where there was nothing to fight about."
  10. by   TopazLover
    John Kerry - United States Senator for Massachusetts : Press Room - Floor Statements
    John Kerry - United States Senator for Massachusetts : Press Room
    This is one of the saddest days I’ve seen in almost 28 years in the Senate and it needs to be a wakeup call about a broken institution that's letting down the American people,” said Sen. Kerry. “We need to fix this place because what happens and doesn’t happen here affects millions of lives. Today the dysfunction hurt veterans and the disabled and that’s unacceptable. 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. It had bipartisan support, and it had the facts on its side, and yet for one ugly vote, none of that seemed to matter. We won’t give up on this and the Disabilities Treaty will pass because it’s the right thing to do, but today I understand better than ever before why Americans have such disdain for Congress and just how much must happen to fix the Senate so we can act on the real interests of our country.”
  11. by   TopazLover
  12. by   LCinTraining
    This bill required registering children at birth with disabilities or as soon as they are discovered. Physical and mental disabilities. It wants group homes and institutions built and makes these children wards of the state. At which point it is a slippery slope to insanity. A fresh out of college social worker with no child rearing experience already has too much clout in the lives of struggling families and many times in their eagerness mistake abuse for normalcy and normalcy for abuse. We have a gamut of children being left in dangerous situations while many more are ripped from their homes needlessly. This bill empowers the state to dictate what is and is not appropriate care for children with disabilities down to removing children from their homes. Now, it sounds good in theory. Protect the children from being thrust into child labor camps in third world countries...but as a mom of a child with a disability, I will be damned if I allow the state to dictate the health care needs of my son. I am with him daily. I know what his needs are, not some well intended 22 year old that barely has a psych degree and has never even babysat, let alone raised a child, healthy or otherwise. This bill, while well intentioned is not defined enough and removes parental rights. Something that American parents cling to with everything in them.
  13. by   cherryames1949
    Having traveled to other parts of the world I realize how inadequate facilities and amenities are for the disabled. We are fortunate that we had leaders with the foresight to vote on and pass The Americans With Disabilities Act. I was ashamed and appalled by the Senate vote. 126 other countries have seen fit to ratify this treaty. Hopefully, those 38 Republicans will come to their senses in the New Year.
  14. by   herring_RN
    I'm so sorry. I think you may have been told inaccurate interpretations of the treaty. This is NOT a bill that can possibly affect ANY person living in the United States.
    It will
    It cannot have any effect on people in the United States at all because the Americans with Disabilities Act is already the law.

    Is the below section the part you refer to? All people in most countries are registered at birth. It is called "record of live birth" or "birth certificate". By the middle the 20th century all the United States had a process for registering all votes. The purpose is to ensure all rights of citizenship must be afforded the same for everyone. People with disabilities have the right to an education and participation in their community the same as all people do.
    The child who is not registered at birth is in danger of being shut out of society --
    I found no mention of "as soon as they are discovered". Somehow you have gotten wrong information.

    Article 18 - Liberty of movement and nationality
    States Parties shall recognize the rights of persons with disabilities to liberty of movement, to freedom to choose their residence and to a nationality, on an equal basis with others, including by ensuring that persons with disabilities:

    1. Have the right to acquire and change a nationality and are not deprived of their nationality arbitrarily or on the basis of disability;
    2. Are not deprived, on the basis of disability, of their ability to obtain, possess and utilize documentation of their nationality or other documentation of identification, or to utilize relevant processes such as immigration proceedings, that may be needed to facilitate exercise of the right to liberty of movement;
    3. Are free to leave any country, including their own;
    4. Are not deprived, arbitrarily or on the basis of disability, of the right to enter their own country.

    Children with disabilities shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by their parents.

    Article 19 - Living independently and being included in the community

    States Parties to this Convention recognize the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and shall take effective and appropriate measures to facilitate full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of this right and their full inclusion and participation in the community, including by ensuring that:

    1. Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement;
    2. Persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community;
    3. Community services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs.