Reid: 'Infirm' Bob Dole hospitalized at Walter Reed

"We should do this to recognize what a great leader Bob Dole is," Reid said.

The top Senate Democrat added he saw the former Republican leader as "a stalwart figure in the history of America."

"He had all the qualities of a leader that I admire and certainly would wish I had," Reid said.

Dole, who was the 1996 Republican presidential nominee and the 1976 vice presidential nominee, has been plagued by a leg infection for years and spent more than three years in the hospital after being wounded during World War II. 

But in a statement to CBS News, an assistant for Dole said he had been hospitalized for a "routine" procedure.

"He checked himself in for a routine procedure and will discharge tomorrow," Dole's assistant said. "Doing well and watching the CRPD debate on CSPAN 2."

The former Republican leader served on the panel convened by former President George W. Bush to investigate problems at the Army medical center after substandard conditions were revealed in a Washington Post investigation in 2007.

Reid was not the only senator to invoke Dole while arguing in favor of the CRPD, an international treaty that seeks to ensure rights for the disabled. Sen. John McCainJohn McCainLots of (just) talk about 'draining the swamp' 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race Is Georgia turning blue? MORE (R-Ariz.) read a letter from Dole urging the treaty's passage, and Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Wikileaks: Durbin pushed unknown Warren for Obama bank regulator The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Ill.) told his colleagues "we need to pass this treaty as a tribute to Bob Dole." Sen. John KerryJohn KerryWhat would a Hillary Clinton presidency look like? 5 reasons Trump's final debate performance sealed his 2016 coffin US pledges to do all it can to fight 'grave threat' of nuclear North Korea MORE (D-Mass.) also cited Dole's letter in advocating for the bill.

Dole penned an editorial advocating the CRPD for The Hill earlier this year.

Ramsey Cox contributed to the reporting of this article.