National Council on Disability Document Archive

Senate Rules Committee votes guide dogs

Posted by: Jamal Mazrui
Date Mailed: Friday, August 1st 1997 01:12 PM

                    **** CQ E-MAIL UPDATE ****
                      Thursday July 31, 1997
        An afternoon update from Congressional Quarterly: 


>> CONGRESS: Byrd, who barred such a guide dog from the floor 
this spring, endorsed today's measure.

Months after an embarrassing Senate flap in which a seeing-eye 
dog was barred from the Senate floor, the Rules and 
Administration Committee today unanimously endorsed a proposal to 
allow disabled individuals to work in the chamber with any 
necessary support.

The panel gave voice vote approval to the draft resolution that 
says "an individual with a disability who has or is granted the 
privilege of the Senate floor ... may bring necessary supporting 
aids and services on the Senate floor."

Citing the traditions of the Senate, Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., 
objected when Moira Shea, a visually impaired aide to Ron Wyden, 
D-Ore., tried to bring her dog on the Senate floor during debate 
on an energy bill in April. Roundly criticized for the action, 
the Senate relented and the aide was allowed to bring her dog to 
the floor.

There was little discussion about the resolution in the Rules 
Committee prior to the vote today. But Byrd, a member of the 
panel, said he supported the resolution because it protects the 
interests of the Senate while removing an impediment.

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