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Legislative Advocacy on a National Scale. Samantha Marsh, M.T. May 7, 2009. About the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD ). Federal Legislative Process. Three Branches of Federal Government. Executes laws. Enacts laws. Interprets laws. President & Executive Branch.

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legislative advocacy on a national scale

Legislative Advocacy on a National Scale

Samantha Marsh, M.T.May 7, 2009

three branches of federal government
Three Branches of Federal Government

Executes laws

Enacts laws

Interprets laws

president executive branch
President & Executive Branch
  • Comes up with ideas for new laws
  • Writes the rules that make the laws work
  • Enforces the laws
  • Signs or Vetoes bills
  • Has access to the media
executive cabinet
Executive Cabinet
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Secretary of Education
111 th congress
111th Congress
  • Democrats control both houses of Congress, control over floor agenda, committee chairs, committee ratios, and committee agendas
  • Congress will last from January 3, 2009, until January 3, 2011
  • 100 Senators435 Representatives6 Non-voting members
house of representatives
House of Representatives
  • 435 Members
  • Two-year terms
  • More rules
  • More focused on regional issues
house leadership
House Leadership
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
  • Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
  • Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC)
  • Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)
key house committees

John Spratt (SC), Chair

Ranking Member Paul Ryan (WI)


David Obey (WI), Chair

Ranking Member Jerry Lewis (CA)

Ways and Means

Charles Rangel (NY), Chair

Ranking Member Dave Camp (MI)


John Conyers (MI), Chair

Ranking Member Lamar Smith (TX)

Education & Labor

George Miller (CA), Chair

Ranking Member Howard McKeon (CA)

Energy & Commerce

Henry Waxman (CA), Chair

Ranking Member Joe Barton (TX)

Key House Committees
  • 100 Members
  • Six-year terms
  • More focused on national issues
  • Less rules
  • Consent agreements
  • More individual power
  • Filibuster – use of parliamentary procedures to delay or kill bills
senate leadership
Senate Leadership
  • Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
  • Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
  • Assistant Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL)
  • Assistant Minority Whip John Kyl (R-AZ)
key senate committees

Chair Inouye, HI

Ranking Member Thad Cochran, MS


Chair Conrad, ND

Ranking Member Judd Gregg, NH


Chair Baucus, MT

Ranking Member Charles Grassley, IA

Health, Education, Labor & Pension

Chair Kennedy, MA

Ranking Member Michael Enzi, WY


Chair Leahy, VT

Ranking Member Arlen Specter, PA???

Key Senate Committees
hawaii delegation senate
HawaiiDelegation - Senate
  • Daniel Inouye(D)
    • Appropriations Chair
    • Commerce, Science and Transportation
    • Rules and Administration
    • Indian Affairs
  • Daniel K. Akaka (D)
    • Armed Services
    • Banking/Housing/Urban
    • Homeland Security
    • Veteran’s Affairs Chair
    • Indian Affairs
hawaii delegation house
HawaiiDelegation - House
  • Neil Abercrombie(D-1st ) – Armed Services and Natural Resources
  • Mazie K. Hirono (D-2nd)– Education and Labor, Transportation and Infrastructure
how a bill becomes a law
How a Bill Becomes a Law
  • Introduced by Member of Congress
  • Sent to Committee/Subcommittee
  • Hearings and markups held
  • House or Senate debates
  • Conference Committee meets
  • House and Senate approve compromise
  • President to signs into law
federal budget process
Federal Budget Process
  • Enactment of bills authorizing/mandating appropriations
  • Submission of President’s Budget
  • Passage of Budget Resolution (BR)
  • Sometimes the BR contains instructions called Budget Reconciliation
  • Enactment of 12 appropriations bills
  • President signs or vetoes
federal budget1
Federal Budget
  • Authorization – establishes or continues (reauthorization) an agency or program
  • Appropriations – funds the authorized programs
  • Discretionary spending (1/3 budget)
  • Entitlement/mandatory spending – for programs guaranteed to eligible individuals a specified level of benefits, e.g. SSI and Medicaid (2/3 budget)
budget timeline
Budget Timeline
  • President submits budget
    • usually early February
  • Congress enacts concurrent Budget Resolution
    • by April 15th
  • Budget reconciliation
  • 302(b) allocations
  • H&S agree on 13 annual appropriations bills
  • Fiscal year begins October 1st


Kareem Dale Video

what is advocacy
What is advocacy?
  • Influencing public policy
  • Seeking adequate funding
  • Making sure laws are implemented
  • Making sure laws are enforced
  • Making sure laws are interpreted correctly
how to advocate
How to advocate

Need to understand:

  • Legislative process
    • How are policies made?
    • Timeline for decisions
  • Who the key policymakers are
  • Political Climate
  • Current and Key Issues
what can you do
Write letters

Make phone calls

Make personal visits

Write letters to the editor

Start an advocacy network

Build a coalition

Organize a demonstration

Develop notebook of positive activities

Organize and educate voters

Hold candidate forum

What can you do?

What worked/didn’t work for you?

what can you do1
What can you do?
  • Put your issue on your Members’ radar screen
  • Make your group a force to be reckoned with
  • AUCD: http://www.aucd.org
    • In Brief: http://www.aucd.org/aucd_inbrief.htm
    • Action Center: http://capwiz.com/aucd/home/
    • Public Policy Website
  • Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities: http://www.c-c-d.org
key disability issues for 2009
Lifespan Respite Care Act

Long-term Services and Supports


Direct Support Professionals


Developmental Disabilities Act

Hate Crimes

Education & NCLB

Budget and Appropriations

Key Disability Issues for 2009
president s fy 2010 budget
President’s FY 2010 Budget
  • February 2009 President submitted “bare bones” FY 2010 Budget Request
  • Final version of budget request expected mid May
  • President’s 2010 Budget Information
  • A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America’s Promise
    • $3.6 trillion new investment in health care, education, energy independence and tax policy
fy 2010 budget resolution s con res 13
FY 2010 Budget Resolution(S Con Res 13)
  • Both chambers adopted FY 2010 BR
  • Congress adopted the fiscal 2010 budget on April 29th with no GOP support (21 Democrats also voted against the measure)
  • $3.65 trillion total includes reconciliation instructions
    • Health Care proposal could move through Congress without a fillibuster
long term services cca class direct support
Long Term ServicesCCA, CLASS, Direct Support
  • Improvements to long-term services and supports
    • Improvements to the Medicaid Home and Community Based State Plan Option
      • Sens. Kerry (D-MA) and Grassley (R-IA) Empowered at Home Act (S 434)
        • Make improvements to state HCBS options
        • Establish incentives for states to take up the option

Removal of the 2-year waiting period for Medicare for individuals with disabilities eligible for SSDI

    • Sens. Bingaman (D-NM), Brown (D-OH) and Collins (R-ME) Ending the Medicare Disability Waiting Period Act of 2009 (S 700)
    • Reps. Green (D-TX) and Terry (R-NE) introduced companion bill in House (HR 1708)
      • Legislation would gradually phase out the 2 year waiting period for Medicare
  • Relevant Committees
  • Senate Finance Committee
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee (Subcommittee on Health)
community choice act s 683 and h r 1670
Community Choice ActS. 683 and H.R. 1670
  • Introduced on March 3, 2009
    • Senator Harkin (D-IA) and Specter (R-PA) and Rep. Davis (D-IL)
  • Allows choice in long term care options
  • Seeks to correct the institutional bias in the Medicaid program by giving individuals who are eligible for nursing facility services or other institutional "care" equal access to community-based services and supports, like attendant services.
  • Builds the capacity of local communities to provide the necessary services and supports for people with disabilities to live in their communities

Get your Member of Congress for co-sponsor and pass the CCA

    • Stand alone legislation
    • Piece of comprehensive health care reform
  • Relevant Committees
    • Senate Finance Committee
    • House Energy and Commerce Committee
      • Subcommittee on Health
the community living services and supports act class act s 697 and h r 1721
The Community Living Services and Supports Act (CLASS Act)S. 697 and H.R. 1721
  • 1 in 5 households in the United States, family caregivers are providing care to an individual with disabilities.
  • The CLASS Act provides options to purchase long-term care insurance through a national program.
    • Provides critical coverage without forcing people into impoverishment
  • Compliment to the Medicaid program
    • New national insurance program (payroll deductions)
  • Ideally incorporated within comprehensive health care reform

Introduced by Senator Kennedy (D-MA) and Representative Pallone (D-NJ)

  • Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing in March 2009
  • Swift passage of the CLASS Act
  • Relevant Committees
    • Senate Finance and HELP
    • House Energy and Commerce
    • House Ways and Means
direct support professionals fairness and security act of 2009
Direct Support Professionals Fairness and Security Act of 2009
  • Introduced on February 4, 2009 (H.R. 868) by Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) and Congressman Lee Terry (R-NE)
  • Amends title XIX of the Social Security Act
  • Gives states a much-needed option to secure additional federal dollars for the direct support workforce.
  • Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce
  • No Senate version as of yet
health care reform
Health Care Reform
  • Key Policy Issue
  • White House Health Reform Summit
  • Disability Community advocated for inclusion of long term services insurance program and the improvement of the Medicaid program
    • Reduce “spending down”
    • Removing Medicaid’s Institutional bias

Support Health Reform Legislation

    • Coverage available through private insurance for ALL Americans
    • Incorporation of long term services and supports
    • Strengthen Medicaid program
    • Amending the Public Health Services Act to require appropriate training
  • Relevant Committees
    • Senate Finance, HELP and Budget
    • House Budget, Ways and Means and Education and Labor
social security and supplemental security income
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income
  • Years of inadequate funding for SSA
  • Delays and decreases in services
  • Adjustments needed to programs
    • SSA’s Administrative Expenses
    • Efforts to address solvency
    • Improvements needed to SSI and Social Security Disability Programs

SSA received $500 million through ARRA for addressing backlog and $500 million to replace National Computer Center

  • Congress should:
    • Increase appropriations to SSA
    • Address areas for improvement
  • Relevant Committees
    • Senate Finance, Budget and Appropriations
    • House Ways and Means, Budget and Appropriations
autism treatment acceleration act s 819
Autism Treatment Acceleration ActS 819
  • Introduced on April 2, 2009 by Senators Durbin (D-IL), Casey (D-PA), and Menendez (D-NJ) (House version Rep. Smith and Doyle)
  • This bill was originally drafted with President Obama when he was in the Senate near the end of the 111th Congress.
  • Bill incorporates some of the provisions of the Expanding the Promise to Individuals with Autism Act introduced by Sen. Clinton in the last Congress, including a revised version of the interdisciplinary training provision to increase the number of professionals skilled to work with individuals with ASD.
  • The bill (S. 819) was referred to the Senate HELP Committee.
  • No similar bill has been introduced in the House
Educate Members of Congress about the need to build capacity to provide interdisciplinary training and research through fully funding the Combating Autism Act
  • Especially those on Senate Health Education and Pensions (HELP) and House Energy and Commerce Committees
  • Urge your Members to co-sponsor Autism Treatment Acceleration Act S. 819
  • See action center for alerts and sample letter! www.aucd.org
achieving a better life experience able accounts act of 2009 s 493 and h r 1205
Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts Act of 2009 S.493 and H.R. 1205

Sens. Casey (D-PA), Hatch (R-Utah), Dodd (D-CT), Burr (R-NC), Kennedy (D-MA), and Brownback (R-KS)

Reps. Kennedy (D-RI), McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Meek (D-FL)

To encourage individuals with disabilities to save, tax-free, for disability-related expenses

Broad allowed expenses and flexibility in management of account


Both bills have a growing bipartisan list of co-sponsors

  • No hearings scheduled yet
  • Urge Members to co-sponsor the ABLE Act and begin committee action
  • Relevant Committees
    • Senate Finance Committee
    • House Ways and Means Committee
    • House Energy and Commerce Committee
developmental disabilities act reauthorization
Developmental Disabilities Act Reauthorization
  • The DD Act creates the UCEDD program, the DD Councils, and Protection and Advocacy, Projects of National Significance and Family Support Programs
  • The DD Act is up for reauthorization
  • Collaborating with our partners on strategy
  • Educate lawmakers about importance of DD Act

No bills offered yet for re-authorization

    • Omnibus FY 2009 modest increases
  • Congress should provide a significant increase in appropriations over FY 2009 funding levels
  • Timely reauthorization
  • Relevant Committees
    • House and Senate Appropriations
    • House Energy and Commerce
    • House Education and Labor
    • Senate HELP
Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 1913)
  • Representative John Conyers (D-MI) introduced bill
  • No Senate bill as of yet
    •   Sen. Kennedy is expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate soon. 
    • President Obama has stated his support for this legislation.
  • Gives law enforcement authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes based on the victim's disability, whether real or perceived
  • Authorize funding to states to help with the prosecution of Hate Crimes.
  • This act will broaden the definition of hate crimes to include disability, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity.

Members of House co-sponsor HR 1913

  • Member of Senate introduce and support companion bill
  • Relevant Committees
    • House and Senate Judiciary Committees
education heoa nclb and idea
EducationHEOA, NCLB and IDEA
  • Higher Education Opportunity Act Public Law 110-315)
    • Recently reauthorized (August 2008)
    • New postsecondary educational opportunities for student with disabilities
      • Model Programs
      • Technical Assistance
      • Expanded Loan Programs
      • Professional Development
no child left behind nclb
No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
  • Overhaul expected
  • Kennedy and Miller Chairs of Education Committees released draft bills last Congress
  • CCD recommendations – ensure people with disabilities included in accountability system
  • How to address shortage of highly qualified personnel
  • Strategies for addressing challenging behaviors
  • Need to educate new Secretary

No bills introduced yet

  • Recommendations
    • Close coordination of NCLB and IDEA policies
    • Monitor that changes do not negatively impact students with disabilities
    • Fully fund new provisions in HEOA
    • Increase funding for IDEA
  • Relevant Committees
    • House Education and Labor
    • Senate HELP
    • House and Senate Appropriations
  • Legislation to reauthorize Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Vocational Rehabilitation Act not introduced
  • Senate HELP Listening Sessions
  • House bill for WIA expected
  • Ticket to Work Hearing
  • Relevant Committees
    • House and Senate Appropriations
    • House Education and Labor/Senate HELP
  • Priced Out in 2008 Study
    • 4 million Americans with disabilities on SSI have to pay 112.1% of monthly income to rent (modest 1 bedroom)
  • Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program
    • Supported housing units (owned by non-profits)
    • Pay 30% of adj. income (affordability for SSI beneficiaries)
  • Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009 (HR 1675)
    • Reps. Murphy (D-CT) and Biggert (R-IL)

Members of Congress should:

    • Increase funding to Section 811
    • Support Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009 (HR 1675)
  • Relevant Committees
    • House and Senate Appropriations
    • House Committee on Financial Services
    • Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs