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Republican opposition downs UN disability treaty

December 5, 2012 • Business


This handout video image provided by CSPAN2 shows former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, right, wheeled into the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 4,2012, by his wife Elizabeth Dole. Frail and in a wheelchair, Dole was a startling presence on the Senate floor as lawmakers voted on a treaty on disabilities. The 89-year-old Republican was in the well of the Senate on the GOP side of the chamber, his wife Elizabeth nearby. Dole recently had been hospitalized but came to the Senate to push for the treaty. (AP Photo/CSPAN2)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Led by Republican opposition, the Senate on Tuesday rejected a United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled that is modeled after the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.

With 38 Republicans casting “no” votes, the 61-38 vote fell five short of the two-thirds majority needed to ratify a treaty. The vote took place in an unusually solemn atmosphere, with senators sitting at their desks rather than milling around the podium. Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, looking frail and in a wheelchair, was in the chamber to support the treaty.

The treaty, already signed by 155 nations and ratified by 126 countries, including Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, states that nations should strive to assure that the disabled enjoy the same rights and fundamental freedoms as their fellow citizens. Republicans objected to taking up a treaty during the Login to read more

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