The treaty, backed by President Obama and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.), fell five votes short of the two-thirds majority needed for confirmation as dozens of Senate Republicans objected that it would create new abortion rights and impede the ability of people to homeschool disabled children.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) argued the treaty would infringe on U.S. sovereignty, an argument echoed by other opponents.
“This unelected bureaucratic body would pass recommendations that would be forced upon the United States if we were a signatory,” he said.
Supporters of the treaty argued that the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities would simply require the rest of the world to meet the standards that Americans already enjoy under the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act.
The treaty was negotiated and first signed under former President George W. Bush and signed again by Obama in 2009. At least 153 other countries have signed it.
Republican 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.
Democrats and advocates for those with disabilities argued that recommendations from a panel created by the treaty would be advisory only, not binding, and that the treaty did not create any new legal rights in state or federal courts. Democrats brought in several Republican senators, including Dole, a disabled veteran, to help make their case.
Republican opposition was led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).
Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Lee said he was concerned that U.N. committee recommendations “often fall well beyond the treaty’s goals.”
“I and many of my constituents who homeschool or send their children to religious schools have justifiable doubt that a foreign body based in Geneva, Switzerland, should be deciding what is best for a child at home in Utah,” Lee said.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said the U.N. committee recommendations would be nonbinding, prompting Lee to ask, “If this does nothing, then why would we ratify it?”
Kerry countered that the treaty would allow the United States to serve on the committee to advocate for the rights of U.S. veterans and citizens living or traveling abroad.
“I have not said it does nothing,” Kerry said. “I said it does not change U.S. law; that is different from saying it doesn’t do anything. If it didn’t do anything I wouldn’t be here, nor would President Bush have signed it.”
In September, 36 Senate Republicans called on the leaders of both parties not to consider any treaties during the lame-duck session. Democrats countered that the current Congress is the best-equipped to approve treaties because its members are the ones who did the work to pass it out of committee over the summer.
McCain, a treaty supporter, argued senators who signed the letter shouldn't feel bound to vote against the treaty because the letter only opposed consideration of treaties, not passage.
“There is no reason we shouldn’t have a vote on this,” McCain said Monday. “The letter says they oppose consideration ... but we have adopted consideration.”
Thank You Hill's Global Watch, Mr Cox and Mr Pecquet
"38 Republicans. That’s All we could get to stand up to the UN?
Surrendering any more of American Sovereignty would not have solved Any problem not only for the US but for people whose rights have been violated in the rest of the world as well.
Atypical Antipsychotics – at least Risperdal – are already prohibited under current US Federal Criminal Law. If we can’t get our own Federal Government to step in and put a stop to an activity already prohibited by law, why should we expect the UN to get the job done?
And understanding that Law, opens the door to the train of Other laws violated incident To the violation of that Law: Civil Rights, Health Care Fraud, Mail Fraud, Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Major Fraud Against the United States, Misprision of Felony, State Statutes prohibiting Aggravated Battery, etc.
All of these already prohibited abuses of Americans are tolerated and ignored by Law Enforcement because our own Government has become so gargantuan that no Dept. in it is willing to start a dust up with any other Dept. in it as the money keeps rolling in keeping them All on easy street.
Adding the UN to the mix could only increase the amount of – to put it in Psychiatric terms – “disfunctional dysphoria” our LEOs are already wallowing in.
Calling it a Conspiracy/NWO plot is an over simplification, because there are so many people/agencies currently involved that they are working at cross purposes."