Senators back UN disability rights treaty

A bipartisan group of senators said the United States must fully endorse a United Nations convention on rights for the disabled, noting the challenges many wounded veterans face while traveling abroad. 

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) prescribes actions for states that want to "ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights … for all persons with disabilities without discrimination." 

The U.S. government has signed but not ratified the treaty, which now requires Senate approval. It contains detailed policy objectives, though a release said that ratification would require "no changes to U.S. laws or new appropriations." 

"I have long advocated on behalf of equal access and non-discrimination for all Americans, including our veterans and today’s disabled soldiers returning home from serving their nation in war," Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAfghanistan is our longest war ever and Congress has abandoned all responsibility Kremlin: ‘We have a long way to go’ before any breakthrough with US The GOP is Trump's party now MORE (R-Ariz.) said in a statement. 

"I support U.S. ratification of the disability treaty, as it seeks to advance these same fundamental values of equality and human dignity around the world." 

The CRPD takes cues from the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, which enacted vast protections for the disabled against discrimination in employment, public accommodations and other areas. 

The convention currently has 112 ratifications and 153 signatories, according to the UN. 

Senators taking part in Friday's announcement were: McCain, Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph Durbin'Dreamers' fix blocked in Senate GOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone Water has experienced a decade of bipartisan success MORE (D-Ill.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranOvernight Cybersecurity: House Intel votes to release Russia report | House lawmakers demand Zuckerberg testify | Senators unveil updated election cyber bill Five takeaways from Mark Zuckerberg's media blitz House panel calls for Zuckerberg to testify MORE (R-Kan.), Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Trump should require federal contractors to follow the law Orrin Hatch, ‘a tough old bird,’ got a lot done in the Senate MORE (D-Iowa), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenators target 'gag clauses' that hide potential savings on prescriptions USPTO needs to be forced to do its job and reject bad patents Senate Dems propose tax cut rollback to pay for infrastructure MORE (R-Wyo.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsOnce on chopping block, Trump's budget puts development finance in overdrive Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps Water has experienced a decade of bipartisan success MORE (D-Del.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Regulation: Omnibus includes deal on tip-pooling rule | Groups sue over rules for organic livestock | AT&T, DOJ make opening arguments in merger trial Overnight Energy: Winners, losers in omnibus bill | EPA funding stands at .1b | Lawmakers get wildfire funding fix Spending bill rejects Trump’s proposed EPA cut MORE (D-N.M.) 

 “The United States is a leader in advocating for the empowerment of disabled Americans, including our veterans who have returned home with life-changing injuries," said Udall said. 

"This treaty is an important tool to improve conditions for citizens living and working abroad and ensures that we remain a beacon for fairness and opportunity around the world."