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Dole, vets groups renew push for disability treaty

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm •  Published: July 23, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — At 91, Bob Dole won't take no for an answer.

The former Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee on Wednesday renewed his plea for full ratification of a treaty promoting equal rights for disabled around the world. Veterans groups, organizations for the disabled and a handful of the Senate's strongest proponents joined Dole in stepping up the pressure for a Senate vote.

In December 2012, Dole, looking frail and in a wheelchair, sat in the Senate chamber to show his support for the treaty. His appearance did little to sway Republican opposition as the treaty fell five votes short of ratification.

Undeterred nearly two years later, Dole said on Wednesday that the treaty was "the right thing to do" and urged ratification. He said 1,000 members of the disabled community will be lobbying the Senate next week for the treaty.

As a Republican, he said, "I don't want to see a headline saying Republicans are voting against disabled Americans."

Dole, who celebrated his 91st birthday on Tuesday, sat through the Capitol Hill news conference and spoke forcefully about the treaty.

The treaty extends many provisions in the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act. Advocates say it benefits American veterans and others working, studying or traveling abroad.

Republican objections concern U.S. sovereignty, abortion and home-schooled children. The Obama administration says the accord changes nothing in U.S. law.

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