The Senate today rejected a United Nations treaty designed to protect the rights of the disabled across the world.
The vote was 61 to 38. Two-thirds of the Senate (66 votes) were needed for passage.
The measure failed despite a dramatic visit to the Senate floor by 89-year old Bob Dole, once the powerful majority leader and a GOP candidate for president. Dole was seen in a wheelchair accompanied by his wife, Elizabeth, herself a former senator.
Just last week Dole was in the hospital.
He made no remarks during the debate, although several senators paid tribute to his support of the measure. Dole, who lost use of his right arm during World War II, has long been an advocate for the rights of the disabled.
"We owe it to Bob Dole...to stand up for the rights of the disabled," Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, said on the floor. He also said the disabled community deserves to see the measure pass.
But his support for the treaty could not overcome the objections of some senators, who thought the treaty would threaten U.S. sovereignty.
Among those voting no -- Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran. Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt also voted no. All are Republicans.
Sen. Claire McCaskill voted for the treaty, known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.