AUCD Legislative News In Brief

December 1, 2014

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
    December 1, 2014   |  Vol. XIV, Issue 47
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Congressional Schedule

The House and Senate have returned from the Thanksgiving holiday. In the next two weeks, Congress must take action to continue funding for government operations, pass an authorzation for national defense programs, and vote on the ABLE Act, among other items on the Congressional "must do" list. 


House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) are reportedly meeting today to work on a funding package that they hope to bring to the floor the week of December 8. The current funding agreement expires on December 11 and Congress mus take action before that date. The package is expected to include a large full-year omnibus appropriations bill, with a few controversial issues covered by a sort-term continuing resolution. This will likely include the funding Department of Homeland Security, following the President's announcement of executive action on immigration enforcement.


The leadership in the House of Representatives has announced that the ABLE Act (HR 647) may come up for a vote this week. ABLE, which stands for "Achieve a Better Life Experience," would create for tax-preferred savings accounts for people with disabilities that promote asset development while preserving access to public benefits like Medicaid. Champions of the bill from the House and Senate have reportedly reached a deal on the final bill but have not announced the final details. Read more in September 29 In Brief. 

Children's Health Insurance Program

On Wednesday, December 3 the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled "The Future of the Children's Health Insurance Program." Witnesses from the Congressional Research Service, the Government Accountability Office, and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission will testify regarding the current status of the CHIP program and how it interacts with the Affordable Care Act. Funding for CHIP is set to end on September 30, 2015. AUCD strongly supports continuing and strengthening CHIP. 

Social Security

Trust Funds

AUCD and - other organizations joined together in a letter to President Obama to shore up the Social Security Disability Insurance program in his proposed budget for the 2016 fiscal year. The letter asks for a temporary reallocation of the payroll tax from the Old Age Survivors Insurance fund into the DI fund. Without action, the DI trust fund is scheduled to be depleted of reserves by late 2016. Congress has reallocated contributions between the two funds many times in the past and in both directions between the two funds.

Ticket to Work

Just in time for its 15th anniversary, the Ticket to Work program has launched a redesigned beneficiary website at The site has an improved layout and is easier to use. The website is part of Social Security's efforts to help people with disabilities who want to work find and keep a job to reduce or eliminate their need for cash benefits. The website is the place to start to learn about the Ticket to Work program, which provides free employment support services to Social Security disability beneficiaries who want to work.


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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: 


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