AUCD Legislative News In Brief

July 7, 2014

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
   July 7, 2014   |  Vol. XIV, Issue 27
Subscribe to AUCD InBrief  |  AUCD InBrief Archive  | RSS  |  AUCD InBrief Twitter

Congressional Schedule

The House and Senate are back in session this week after the July 4th recess.

Autism CARES Act

The Senate is expected to take up the Autism CARES Act this week. The House of Representatives passed the bill (HR 4631) on Tuesday, June 24. On the next day, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the bill (S 2449) by a voice vote, sending it straight to the floor under a unanimous consent agreement. Unfortunately, several Senators asked for time to review the bill, so the process was delayed. AUCD urges network members and allies to contact Senators to ensure that they understand the importance of this legislation. See AUCD's action center for more information (and AUCD press release). Thanks to those of you who have already taken the time to educate Members. Please also thank your Representative is h/she is one of the 86 sponsors of the bill. The Senate bill now has 10 co-sponsors.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The House is expected to vote on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) on Wednesday of this week. The Senate passed the bill (HR 803) by a strong bipartisan vote of 95-3 on June 25. This bill will reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act and increase employment opportunities and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Please contact your Representatives and urge them to support the bill. See the AUCD Action Alert for more information.

Higher Education

Senator Harkin (D-IA), chair of the HELP Committee, along with ranking Minority Member Alexander (R-TN), released a bipartisan draft bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act called the Higher Education Affordability Act (see news release). The bill includes a much stronger focus on students with disabilities including a new Title IX, "Higher Education Opportunities and Supports for Students with Disabilities" to support the recruitment, enrollment, and graduation of such students.  The bill also reauthorizes the Transition Program for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) programs with a renewed focus on outcomes and dissemination of the practices learned by the original 27 programs.  Senator Harkin also advocated for an expansion of and funding for the technical assistance program to ensure institutions of higher education (IHE) can recruit, retain, support, and graduate students with disabilities. Finally, the draft bill focuses on college affordability, student loan protections, and includes changes to accountability in teacher preparation programs. Please feel free to review the bill and provide any comments to Kim Musheno at [email protected].

Members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce introduced new bills related to higher education on June 26. The bills are the Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act, Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act, and Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act.


The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on July 11 titled 21st Century Cures Initiative: Incorporating the Patient Perspective. This hearing is part of the broader 21st Century Cures Initiative of the committee.  The committee has also scheduled a hearing on July 2 regarding clinical trials

Social Safety Net

The House Budget Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 9 titled "A Progress Report on the War on Poverty: Working with Families in Need." This is part of a series of hearings in the committee to follow up on the committee's report The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later. Social safety net programs that support people with disabilities, including Medicaid, SNAP, and housing assistance could be discussed.  


Follow AUCD on Facebook and Twitter
Follow our Executive Director @AndyAUCD and policy staff @kmusheno and @racheljpat

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:



AUCD | 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1000 | Silver Spring | MD | 20910