Senator Ayotte Votes to Ratify Disabilities Treaty
WASHINGTON, DC - Supporting the efforts of disabled Americans to live, study, and work abroad, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) voted today to ratify an international treaty that is based on the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has the broad support of over 20 veterans groups, over 300 disability organizations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, former President George H.W. Bush, and former Senator Bob Dole. It was rejected today in the Senate by a vote of 61 to 38 (the support of two-thirds of present Senators was needed for ratification).
"Senate ratification of this treaty would reflect America's leadership role in breaking down barriers for disabled individuals," said Senator Ayotte. "It would take a step toward making it easier for disabled Americans to live and work overseas, without impinging on U.S. sovereignty or Congress' authority to determine our disability laws. Veterans service groups are especially supportive of the treaty, which would help level the playing field for disabled veterans who are abroad."
One hundred and seventeen countries have ratified CRPD, which would not require any changes to U.S. law and its provisions are not directly enforceable in U.S. courts.
The following veterans service organizations have indicated their support of CRPD: AMVETS, Air Force Sergeants Association, Air Force Women Officers Associated, American GI Forum, Association of the United States Navy, Blinded Veterans Association, Disabled Americans Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Jewish War Veterans, Military Officers Association of America, National Association for Black Veterans, National Guard Association of the United States, National Military Family Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America, The American Legion, Veterans for Common Sense, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Veterans of Modern Warfare, VetsFirst (a program of United Spinal Association), Vietnam Veterans of America, and Wounded Warrior Project.