AUCD Legislative News In Brief

August 8, 2011

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  August 8, 2011   |  Vol. XI, Issue 32
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Congressional Schedule
Congress is on recess until after Labor Day.  Recess is an excellent time to meet with your members of Congress and educate them about disability issues while they are in their home offices.  Visit AUCD's Action Center to learn more about disability policy issues that are important right now. 

Budget & Appropriations
On August 2, the U.S. Congress passed and the President signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), the bipartisan compromise to raise the debt ceiling and establish a long term plan to reduce the deficit.  Last week's In Brief included a detailed description of the bill, but a number of other resources are now available to help everyone understand the final law.  The White House and the New York Times created infographics illustrating the key stages of the BCA.  The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities produced an explanation of the main elements of the bill and the sequester process, if it is triggered.  A section-by-section analysis of the BCA is also available.

The BCA sets overall spending levels for fiscal year 2012 (which starts on October 1, 2011).  The next step is for the House and Senate appropriations committees to draft their 12 annual spending bills pursuant to these levels.

While Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other entitlement benefits were protected in the initial stage of the BCA, these entitlement programs will be on the negotiating table for the bipartisan group of lawmakers tasked with proposing an additional $1.5 trillion in cuts by late November.  Congress and the Administration still need to hear from people with disabilities about the real-life impacts of these programs and why it is essential to protect them. 

AUCD staff attended the
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)'s annual Justice for All celebration of the 21st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act held on Capitol Hill July 26.  Speakers included House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer, (D-MD), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) (all pictured on the right).  In addition, many other members of Congress and Hill staff participated in the celebration.

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Summit
AUCD is partnering with the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University to exhibit at the
NCSL Legislative Summit in San Antonio, Texas this week.  The annual Summit attracts over 600 state legislators and staff to discuss policy issues that impact the states.  AUCD will be sharing information about Medicaid, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act and restraint and seclusion in schools. 


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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