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Capitol Health Call
January 9, 2013

Treaty Ratification Defeated

JAMA. 2013;309(2):126. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.190478

A group of 38 Republican senators banded together and voted on December 4 against ratification of a treaty designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities around the world. Although 7 Republican senators did join every Democratic senator in voting for ratification, the final tally fell short of the two-thirds voting margin needed for passage.

The Republican action baffled Senate Democratic leadership as they pointed out that the treaty had been negotiated by former President George W. Bush and endorsed by former Sen Bob Dole (R, Kan), a disabled World War II veteran who was instrumental in helping pass the US Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The treaty has been ratified by 125 countries.