The U.S. Senate failed to ratify the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
On Dec. 4, the chamber fell five votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to approve the treaty. Proponents noted that 90 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries have no access to education. In the 61-38 vote, all 38 no votes came from Republicans.
The treaty is modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act. Former Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, whose youngest daughter has severe disabilities, opposed the measure, saying it could infringe on the rights of American families to raise their children as they see fit.
In a statement, the White House said that ratification would position the United States to support extending across the globe the rights that Americans already enjoy at home, thereby improving the lives of Americans with disabilities including wounded service members who wish to live, work, and travel abroad.
A version of this article appeared in the December 12, 2012 edition of Education Week as U.N. Disability Pact Fails in U.S. Senate