AUCD Legislative News In Brief

August 6, 2012

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  August 6, 2012   |  Vol. XII, Issue 31
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Congressional Schedule
Congress is in recess until the week of September 10th.  Disability advocates should be contacting their members of Congress while they are in their local offices.  AUCD issued a recess action alert on funding that is available on our Action Center.  Other issues you may want to address include, education, employment and work incentives, passing the CRPD, ending restraints and seclusion, or educating them about particular Center research and projects.

FY 2013 Appropriations
Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) last week announced they will seek to pass a continuing resolution that will keep federal agencies running at roughly their current budget level from October 2012 through March 2013.  This action would prevent the possibility of a government shutdown right before the Nov. elections.  If Congress holds a special session following the elections (referred to as a "lame duck" session), they will likely focus on making a deal to prevent the automatic cuts (or sequester) and expiring tax cuts, both scheduled to take place in January if Congress does not take action to stop them.  The CR will likely be passed when Congress returns from the August recess early in September.  Action on the CR means that the final FY 2013 appropriations could be decided by a new Congress and possibly a new President.

Tax Legislation
On a mostly party-line vote of 256 to171, the House passed legislation Wednesday to extend for one year tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 for individuals with all incomes.  A Senate-passed alternative that would extend the cuts only for households earning up to $250,000 per year, but let the cuts expire for the top two percent of earners, was defeated.  The votes set up more dueling over extending the tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of the year.  Given the deep partisan divide on the issue, Congress is not likely to come to agreement on a path forward until after the November elections.  AUCD signed onto a letter (along with 131 other national organizations) urging the Congress to allow tax cuts for households with incomes over $250,000 to expire. Allowing the tax cuts to expire for households making over $250,000 a year would generate about $1 trillion. This funding is greatly needed to help protect important disability programs (like Medicaid, Social Security, housing, education, and employment) from deep cuts and to reduce the deficit.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
On July 26 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution of advice and consent to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Treaty Doc. 112-7) by a bipartisan vote of 13 to 6. The Committee adopted three amendments: one stating that nothing in the CRPD addresses any particular health program or procedure; a second stating that current U.S. law "fulfills or exceeds the obligations of the convention"; and a third stating that a new Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities formed under the CRPD "has no authority to compel actions by state parties." Visit the
Committee web site to read amendments in full, read the committee report on the CRPD or view a video of the hearing on the CRPD. The next step is for consideration of the Treaty by the full Senate, which will require 67 votes for ratification. With so much misinformation circulating about the Convention, we will need all the help we can get educating Senators. Visit AUCD's action center to contact your Senator about the CRPD.

National Presidential Forum on Disability Issues.
Registration for the National Presidential Forum on Disability Issues will be open later this week!  Meanwhile, we need your help encouraging the presidential candidates to attend this important event!  Make a video (
see Illinois advocates' video invitation!), send a letter, or use the social media links on our page to send an invitation.  If you have any personal connections with the candidates or their campaign staff, please contact them personally.  For more information on the forum, visit AUCD's Presidential Forum page.

Census Report on Americans with Disabilities
The U.S. Census Bureau has released a new report, "Americans With Disabilities: 2010." The report finds that approximately 57 million Americans (nearly 1 in 5) have a disability, with more than half reporting the disability as "severe."  The percentage of people with a disability was statistically unchanged from 2005, when disability was last measured in the Survey of Income and Program Participation.

AUCD Fellowship in Disability Policy Leadership
AUCD is still accepting applications for the 2013 Disability Policy Leadership Fellow. 
Click here to find out more about the fellowship.  This is a fantastic opportunity for network members to learn about disability policy development "hands-on".  Feel free to email Kim Musheno with questions or a letter of interest.  The deadline for applications has been extended to August. 30.


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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