On December 3, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) took advantage of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to again call on the Senate to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, also called the Disabilities Treaty. Harkin is the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and was a key author of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, on which the treaty was based.
“Since the passage of the ADA, we have made real progress in opening the doors of opportunity to millions of Americans with disabilities, but there is more work to be done,” Harkin said. “Continuing this work starts with the Senate ratifying the CRPD to reaffirm America’s rightful place as the world leader in protecting the rights of people with disabilities. This vital treaty would build on the work of the ADA and help to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy equal access around the world. I am hopeful that in working on a bipartisan basis with my colleagues, and by continuing to educate other members on the importance of the treaty, we can get the support we need to ratify the treaty during this Congress.”
In December 2012, the Senate failed to ratify the treaty, falling five votes shy of the required two-thirds majority. Harkin joins legislators from both parties in calling for ratification.