AUCD Legislative News In Brief

October 28, 2013

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  October 28, 2013   |  Vol. XIII, Issue 43
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Congressional Schedule

The House and Senate are in session this week and conference committees are the theme. Conference committees are scheduled to meet to work on a concurrent budget resolution and a bill to reauthorize food assistance and farm subsidy legislation. The House will be in recess starting Thursday through November 12


The budget conference committee required by the October 16 deal to raise the debt ceiling and re-open the federal government will hold its first meeting on October 30. The committee is tasked with reconciling the significant differences between the House and Senate budget resolutions passed earlier this year (for more information, see last week's In Brief). Conference committee members include:

Representatives: Paul Ryan (R-WI), James Clyburn (D-SC), Tom Cole (R-OK), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tom Price (R-GA), Nita Lowey (D-NY)Diane Black (R-TN)

Senators: Patty Murray (D-WA), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kelley Ayotte (R-NH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Roger Wicker (R-MS) Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME).

AUCD and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities continue to advocate for a balanced approach to long-term debt reduction. Finally, AUCD believes it is important to thank members of Congress who voted for H.R. 2775, the resolution to re-open the federal government and raise the debt ceiling.  As sample letter is provided on AUCD's action center.

Disability Treaty

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled hearings on November 5th and 12th  on the Disability Treaty (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or CRPD). AUCD has been heavily involved in supporting the treaty, holding grassroots conference calls in key states and working with the US International Council on Disability and Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities on action alerts for the disability community. Now it's easier than ever to get involved. Visit AUCD's Disability Treaty page for news and ideas and the new for direct phone numbers and contacts for your Senators.  Don't forget to follow disability treaty news on Facebook and Twitter and use social media to show your support.

Affordable Care Act

Two hearings are scheduled in the House this week to question top administration officials about the implementation the Federally Facilitated Marketplaces at On Tuesday, Center for Medicare and  Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner will testify at House Committee on Ways and Means hearing about ACA implementation. On Wednesday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will appear before the House Energy and Commerce committee to testify at a hearing called "PPACA Implementation Failures: Answers from HHS."  Following the hearings, the House is expected to vote on more bills delaying or dismantling the ACA, including delay of the individual responsibility requirement to hold health insurance. The administration has already extended the date by which people must hold insurance to avoid the penalty to align with the end of the open enrollment period on March 31, 2014.

Farm Bill

Congress has been working on a bill to reauthorize the "Farm Bill" - legislation that governs both food assistance and farm subsidies (see October 14 In Brief). The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program  (or "food stamps") provides benefits to millions of people with low income and assets, including people with disabilities. Both chambers have passed bills and are now moving to a conference committee. The House-passed legislation would cut $40 billion from the program and includes changes to limit eligibility for the program. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has highlighted changes in the House bill that would impact on people with disabilities, such as drug testing, tightened asset-limits, and limitations on application assistance. SNAP benefits are also scheduled for automatic cuts on November 1 when temporary funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expires. The House-approved cuts are in addition to the previously scheduled cuts.


The National Council on Disability has released a report on the experiences of voters with disabilities during the 2012 election. The investigation found that 40% of respondents encountered physical barriers at their polling place and nearly 54% faced discrimination or attitudinal barriers inside the polling place. The report is part of an examination into the impact of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and provides an overview of the funding, activities, and outcomes under the law. 

Older Americans Act

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) committee is scheduled for October 30 to mark up a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA, S. 1562). For more information on the bill, see last week's In Brief. 

AUCD Annual Meeting

The AUCD Annual Meeting is less than three weeks away! Conference registration ends on Friday, November 1 and deadline for hotel reservations at the conference rate is today. Highlights for the legislatively-inclined include: Legislative Affairs Committee meeting at 12:30pm on Sunday, November 17; a Conversation with our Federal Partners on Tuesday, November 19; and a plenary discussion on Federal Initiatives to Reduce Discrimination, Increase Civil Rights, and Equality featuring Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Congressman James Langevin (D-RI). Don't forget to make appointments for your hill visits on Wednesday afternoon!


For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews

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

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

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:

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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