Congress returned today from a two week recess to a hectic schedule. The House will vote on another extension for federal transportation programs. The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on federal safety net programs on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a hearing on the Workforce Investment Improvement Act (H.R. 4297). The Senate Special Aging Committee will hold a hearing on savings in long-term care services on Wednesday. The Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees plan to mark up legislation aimed at cutting health funding in order to meet the cuts contained within the House Republican budget plan.
New Administration for Community Living
Today, U.S. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new organization within the Department of Health and Human Services -- the "Administration for Community Living" (ACL). The ACL will include the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) in a single agency with the goal of increasing access to community supports and full participation in all aspects of society, while continuing to focus specific attention and resources on the unique needs of people with disabilities of all ages and older Americans. In addition, in order to honor and acknowledge the current landscape and changes in contemporary language, as well as the work done through ADD to support the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, the Administration on Developmental Disabilities will become the "Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities." For additional information, please see www.hhs.gov/acl. AUCD will issue a statement to the press shortly.
White House Policy Briefing
Today, AUCD staff is attending a special White House policy briefing with Vice President Joe Biden. The meeting features senior White House officials to discuss themes and policies that the President laid out in a recent speech to the Associated Press on the so-called Buffet Rule, tax reform, the Ryan Budget, jobs and the economy.
Budget & Appropriations
Appropriations committees in both chambers will begin marking up fiscal year 2013 appropriations bills this week. The House is working under an overall discretionary spending cap of $1.028 trillion. Senate appropriators will move ahead under the limit established by the Budget Control Act, $1.047 trillion, only slightly higher than the current year's level of $1.043 trillion. Although both chambers will consider spending plans in the next few months for the fiscal year that begins October 1, Congress is unlikely to pass final appropriations measures until after the November elections. This means that it will have to pass short-term spending bills called continuing resolutions to keep the government running. The appropriations activity happening this week will not address the automatic spending cuts (sequester) of about 9 percent scheduled to take effect in January 2013.
Family Support Policies
The Family Caregiving Alliance and the National Center on Caregiving, dedicated to the development of high-quality, cost-effective policies and programs for caregivers, recently released their "Family Caregiving 2011: Year in Review" report; a compilation of research, programs, legislation, and media coverage. The report is a comprehensive and detailed guide on family supports, which includes some recent federal policy changes on integration of individuals who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare, increased use of managed care for long-term services and supports, and Affordable Care Act provisions relating to family supports. Visit AUCD's family support page for a link to the guide and other valuable resources.
Affordable Care Act: Get the Facts
AUCD offers facts about the law and its implementation in this new section of In Brief. Tell us what you think about this new section and our Get the Facts page by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disability Policy Seminar
This year's Disability Policy Seminar begins a week from today! We have an exciting agenda covering all the major areas of disability policy. Please visit www.disabilitypolicyseminar.org to register, or register on-site when you arrive. You can find a number of resources online, including fact sheets, the program-at-a-glance, and much more.
Be sure to invite your members of Congress to the Capitol Hill Reception on Tuesday. Call their Washington, DC office and ask to speak to the scheduler. Inform the scheduler about the reception and he/she will likely ask you to send an invitation electronically (See sample invite here). The more information the staff has at their fingertips, the greater the chances of attendance.
You can also visit the Hill visits page to see a state-by-state list of attendees which you can use to coordinate your Hill visits, as well as a list of key committees and tips for visiting your members of Congress. Make sure to schedule these visits before coming to D.C.!
You can view AUCD's Seminar orientation webinar on our Webinar Library.
Don't miss these Seminar events!
- Reception for AUCD Trainees on Sunday the 22nd (6:00 - 7:30 p.m.)
- Capitol Hill Reception on Tuesday the 24th (5:30 - 7:30 p.m.)
- AUCD Legislative Affairs Committee meeting Monday at Noon
- Sibling Breakfast/Meet and Greet for Self-Advocates on Monday the 23rd (7:45 - 8:45a.m.)
- Award Recipients and Keynote Speakers: Sen. Tom Harkin and Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez
Note from the Editor
In Brief will be on hiatus next week as AUCD's legislative staff will be attending the Disability Policy Seminar.
For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD's Glossary of Legislative Terms.
For copies of this and previous issues of Legislative News In Brief please visit the Public Policy Page of the AUCD website: http://www.aucd.org/template/page.cfm?id=164