Disability Policy News In Brief

July 27, 2015

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July 27, 2015   |   Vol. XV, Issue 30
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Congressional Schedule

In a rare Sunday legislative session, the Senate voted down a Republican effort to - once again -- repeal the Affordable Care Act. The amendment, part of the reauthorization of a highway bill, fell 49-43, along party lines, with eight senators not voting.  Both the House and Senate are trying to wrap up business before the month-long August congressional recess.


House Speaker John Boehner mentioned the possibility of moving a continuing resolution in September to keep federal programs running while they work on finalizing appropriations bills. Both chambers' appropriations committees have approved all 12 fiscal 2016 annual spending bills, but the full House has passed only six. Senate Democrats blocked consideration of its defense spending bill and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has not tried to bring that or any other appropriations measure to the floor. The new fiscal year begins Oct.1, which means Congress has only a few weeks in September to pass some kind of stopgap spending measure to avert a shutdown.

ADA Anniversary

Last week was filled with celebrations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) silver (25-year) anniversary that occurred on July 26. President Obama and Vice-President Biden hosted several thousand new and returning advocates, including AUCD president Olivia Raynor and several staff, for a festive reception at the White House where the President made remarks in the East Room (see video and fact sheets).  The Departments of Labor, Justice, HHS/ACL, and Education also held separate events to celebrate their agencies' accomplishments related to the ADA.  At several events, Senators Tom Harkin, Lowell Weicker, and Bob Dole, Rep. Tony Coelho and other federal officials regaled participants with stories about the struggle to pass the landmark civil rights law.  The ADA Legacy Tour bus, which rolled across the country all month to raise awareness finally came to a stop in DC on July 26 with a big celebration.

AUCD was well represented at these ADA events.  AUCD Executive Director Andy Imparato authored an article that was published on the Administration for Community Living (ACL) website and he was quoted in an extensive AP article.  Tomorrow, Imparato will be interviewed on the Disability Matters radio show.  AUCD also assisted Google.org with its ADA campaign.  Google.org created 9 portraits of selected disability movement heroes (including LEND fellow, Tia Nelis) and posted them on stairs at prominent DC locations (see portraits and video).  See more about these events and stories, including an interview with Olivia Raynor on AUCD's website and check out the Twitter.com feed under #ADA25.

Department of Justice, EEOC, access board ADA

During the ADA event at the Department of Justice, EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum announced a new collaboration between the DOJ and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to further the objectives of Congress under the ADA and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), with respect to employment discrimination charges filed against state and local governments. This MOU broadly promotes interagency coordination and seeks to maximize effort, promote efficiency, and eliminate duplication and inconsistency in the enforcement of the federal employment discrimination laws. It includes provisions for coordination of the investigation of charges of employment discrimination under the ADA and GINA. 

Social Security

The White House released a fact sheet on the Social Security Disability Insurance: A Lifeline for American Workers and Families to coincide with the 25th Anniversary of the ADA. Last week the Social Security Trustees released their 2015 report on the current and projected financial status of our nation's Social Security system. The Trustees continue to find that Social Security's overall health is strong, but that if Congress fails to act before the end of 2016, nearly 11 million Americans who rely on SSDI will face a 20 percent across the board cut in benefits.

President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities

The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) will hold a two-day meeting on August 3-4, for its members to finalize the 2015 PCPID Report to the President.   This year's report will be on the roles of technology in the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.  PCPID members will also begin exploring topics for the 2016 PCPID report. The meetings are open to the public, either in person or via conference call, more information is available in the federal register notice


For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For more policy news, follow Kim on Twitter at @kmusheno

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD's Glossary of Legislative Terms 


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