Disability Policy News In Brief

February 18, 2019

AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday, from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
February 18, 2019   |   Vol. MMXIX, Issue 7
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The seven-part FY 2019 omnibus funding bill was passed by the House and Senate on February 14 and signed by President Trump the next day. The Omnibus provides funding through the end of FY 2019 for Agriculture, Transportation-HUD, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, State and Foreign Ops, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Homeland Security, ending the risk of another government shutdown.   

  • Conference Report here.
  • Division-by-division summary here.

Following the deal President Trump indicated that he would use an emergency order to fund a wall at the southern border. 

Autism CARES 2019  

The Autism CARES Act - which has expanded research and coordination, increased public awareness and surveillance, and expanded interdisciplinary health professional training, including LENDs, to identify and support children and youth with Autism and their families - will sunset (expire) in September 2019 without a successful reauthorization. Bills to reauthorize the Act have been introduced and need cosponsors  (HR. 1058, S. 427).

Action Steps:

  • Contact your Congressional Delegation and make sure they are engaged in the reauthorization. 
  •  Invite your Congressmembers to be a co-sponsor of Autism CARES, or thank them for their involvement. 
  •  Use this easy form to send an educational email to your members about the importance of Autism CARES legislation.
  • Call your members of Congress at 202-224-3121, and advocate as a private citizen for the bill's reauthorization.
Sample Script: I am [Name] from [State]. I have seen the impact of Autism CARES and the lives changed because of this important legislation. I urge you to co-sponsor reauthorization. Thank you.

District Work Week 

Congress is home for a week-long recess until February 24. This is a great time to speak directly with your Representative and Senators. Call their offices or visit their websites to find out where they will be. If they do not have public events scheduled, ask for a personal appointment. Your voice and story is needed to advocate and educate for critical bills including Autism CARES 2019.

Action Steps:

  • If your Representative or Senators have co-sponsored Autism CARES, thank them and publicly share their support.
  • If your Representative or Senators have not expressed a position, share what matters to you.

Health Care

The House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing - "Strengthening Our Health Care System: Legislation to Reverse ACA Sabotage and Ensure Pre-Existing Conditions Protections" - discussed several bills:

  • H.R. 986, the "Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019," introduced by Rep. Ann M. Kuster (D-NH), would require the Trump Administration to rescind the Section 1332 guidance of the ACA promulgated in October of 2018;
  •  H.R. 987, the "Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower Health Education Act of 2019" or the "MORE Health Education Act," introduced by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), would restore outreach and enrollment funding to assist consumers in signing up for health care, which has been slashed by the Trump Administration; 
  • H.R. 1010to provide that the rule entitled "Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance" shall have no force or effect, introduced by Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), would reverse the Trump Administration's expansion of junk insurance plans, also known as short-term, limited-duration insurance plans (STLDI); and
  • H.R.  1143, the "Educating Consumers on the Risks of Short-Term Plans Act of 2019," introduced by Chairwoman Eshoo (D-CA), would require STLDI to disclose the risks of STLDI to prospective consumers, including disclosure that STLDI may not cover preexisting conditions, may not cover the costs of medical services, and that coverage may be rescinded if the individual seeks treatment for a preexisting condition. 


The Senate confirmed William Barr as Attorney General in a 54-45 vote on February 14th, with three Democrats (Alabama's Doug Jones, West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema) in favor of his confirmation and one Republican (Kentucky's Rand Paul) opposed. 

Campaign 2020

The Democratic National Committee announced plans for the party's first two presidential primary debates. The first debate will take place in June and be sponsored by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo; the second will be held in July, hosted by CNN. Both debates could be held over two weeknights, with the field of candidates being randomly separated into two 10-person stages if necessary.  

The following notable candidates have filed to run for president with the Federal Election Commission or announced exploratory committees.

  • Amy Klobuchar (D), U.S. Senator from Minnesota, announced on February 19, 2019
  • Corey Booker (D), U.S. Senator from New Jersey, announced on February 1, 2019
  • Pete Buttigieg (D), Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced on January 23, 2019 
  • Kamala Harris (D), U.S. Senator from California, announced on January 21, 2019
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D), U.S. Senator from New York, announced on January 15, 2019
  • Julian Castro (D), former U.S. Secretary of HUD, announced on January 12, 2019
  • Tulsi Gabbard (D), U.S. Representative from Hawaii, announced on January 11, 2019
  • Elizabeth Warren (D), U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, announced on December 31, 2018
  • John Delaney (D), former U.S. Representative from Maryland, filed on August 10, 2017

Action Step:

  • Check out the campaign website of each candidate (links above); use the sites to ask questions about disability policy.

Tuesdays with Liz: Culture and Diversity with Tawara Goode

 Liz chats with Tawara Goode, director of the Georgetown UCEDD, about what culture and diversity mean, how culture influences perceptions and beliefs about disability, and cultural considerations in healthcare.

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

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