Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and Senate sponsor of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, released the following statement after the Senate voted 61-38 against ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
"Today's vote is terribly disappointing to me, and to disability advocates around the country. The arguments made against ratifying the CRPD were misinformed and damaging, and a minority of Senators blocked important progress on human rights based on fictitious rationale. This treaty would not have undermined America's sovereignty or turned over too much power to the United Nations; it would have reaffirmed America's rightful place as the world leader in rights for people with disabilities. Since the passage of the ADA, we have led the way in integrating people with disabilities into every aspect of our society, and this failure to live up to that mantle marks a shameful day in our history. Disability advocates will not give up this fight, and neither will I."