Republicans Refuse To Ratify International Disability Treaty

Owen Poindexter
In what would seem to be the least controversial issue imaginable: a bill that supports (in sentiment, not dollars) other countries bringing themselves up to the standards that the U.S. already has around the treatment of the disabled, was unable to breach the needed 66 votes due to GOP opposition.

A bill with bipartisan support to ratify an international treaty on disability rights that the U.S. is already in compliance with was…voted down by Senate Republicans. What? Yes. It received 61 votes in favor to 38 against, but that is not enough to reach the two-thirds majority needed to ratify the treaty. Eight Republicans broke with their party to oppose the bill, and former Republican Senate Majority Leader and presidential candidate Bob Dole, who supports the treaty, sat in front of the senate entrance in his wheelchair, so that Republicans would have to walk by him as they entered the chamber.

To no avail. Why? This guy:

Yes kids, Rick Santorum is still around, and still finding pet causes to subject his sweater vest to (sweater vest not pictured). Santorum and Senator Mike Lee of Utah railed against the treaty because they thought it would undermine American sovereignty and allow the U.N. to dictate policy on abortion and home-schooling.

What the treaty actually does: essentially extends the Americans With Disabilities Act to other countries. It would not require any policy changes. It’s essentially a bill that says “other countries want to be nice to the old and disabled, is everyone okay with that?” It was supported by John McCain, the first President Bush and the Chamber of Commerce, but 38 Republicans voted against it.

The Republicans that voted for it deserve to be mentioned: Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Dick Lugar (Ind.), John McCain (Ariz.), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) voted with Democrats in favor of the treaty. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois is receiving medical treatment and did not vote.

And as for Santorum, he stays in the news in a way that is favorable to the fringe of his party, which is all he needs to run for president again.