Sen. Tom Harkin is dismayed that his effort to extend the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act to the international community appears unlikely to gain the Republican support it needs to be ratified by the U.S. Senate.
Harkin, who along with former Republican Sen. Bob Dole sponsored the ADA, which was signed into law by a Republican president in 1990, had hoped to win over another half dozen Republicans to reach the 67 votes necessary to ratify the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).
However, a GOP ally did a vote count and said there has been no movement among the Republican holdouts despite encouragement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, veterans groups and disabilities groups.
Harkin thought he might win that support when earlier this month, the National Association of Evangelicals wrote Harkin to say it had dropped its opposition. It changed its position based on modifications of language on abortion and family issues in what are known as RUDs – rules, understandings and declarations – that would guide U.S. implementation of the treaty.
“This is what gave me hope that we might change some hearts and minds on this,” Harkin said. “But it didn’t do any good.”
Based on the vote count, Harkin said, “There no way we can bring it up.”