AUCD Legislative News In Brief

February 18, 2014

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  February 18, 2014   |  Vol. XIV, Issue 7
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Congressional Schedule

Both the House and Senate are in recess for the President's Day Holiday. The Senate returns Monday, February 24 and the House returns Tuesday, February 25.

Budget & Appropriations

The President has signed a bill to raise the nation's debt limit until March 2015 that moved quickly through Congress last week. Soon after the debt limit was reinstated on February 7, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned Congress that they must raise the debt limit by February 27 to avoid a default of the nation's financial obligations (see February 3 and February 10 In Brief).  On Tuesday, February 11 the House of Representatives voted 221 to 201 to raise the debt limit with no other legislation attached. On Wednesday, February 12 the Senate voted 55 to 43 to raise the limit also without conditions. The House vote relied almost entirely on Democratic votes - only 28 Republicans voted for the bill and two Democrats voted against - and most news reports of the House and Senate votes have focused on the politics of the vote. This is the first time a debt ceiling has been raised since 2009 without additional legislation attached.

Minimum Wage Executive Order

On Wednesday, February 12, President Obama signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour - a move he first mentioned in the State of the Union address on January 28. AUCD Executive Director Andy Imparato attended the signing with other leaders from the disability community who had urged the Administration to ensure that people with disabilities would be covered under the new policy. The order includes workers with disabilities who have been earning less than minimum wage. The wage applies to new federal contracts and subcontracts for services (such as food and janitorial services) and construction awarded after January 1, 2015 and will be indexed annually for inflation. It does not apply to contracts for products. For more information see AUCD's press release and the White House Fact Sheet on the executive order.

Restraints and Seclusion in Schools

On Wednesday, February 12, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), hosted an event at the Capitol to announce the introduction of the Keeping All Students Safe Act and to discuss findings of the committee's investigation of obstacles faced by parents whose children were secluded or restrained in public schools. He was joined by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT). Representative George Miller (D-CA) has introduced a companion bill in the House also called the Keeping All students Safe Act. AUCD continues to strongly support the legislation and has signed on to a Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities letter of support. For more information, see AUCD's Restraint & Seclusion policy page and action alert supporting the bill.

Older Americans Act

On Tuesday, February 11, the House Education and the Workforce Committee hosted a hearing on the Older Americans Act (OAA). An archived webcast and witness testimony are available on the committee website. For more information, see February 10 In Brief. The Senate has introduced a bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (S. 1028). No bills have been introduced in the House to date. AUCD has joined other CCD advocates on Hill visits to advocate for the inclusion of aging parents caring for adult children with disabilities to be eligible for services under the National Family Caregiver Support Program.

Disability Policy Seminar

Be sure to book rooms for the 2014 Disability Policy Seminar in Washington DC, April 7-9, before the room block at the Grand Hyatt closes on March 4. And take advantage of special early seminar registration rates until March 7. A preliminary schedule of events is online. Wednesday, April 9 is the date to make appointments for your Hill visits.  Please call to make the appointments before you arrive.  AUCD and AAIDD will again host an orientation to the policy seminar on Tuesday, March 11 at 3:00 p.m. ET. This is a good time to ask more questions about the issues and the event.


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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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