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CALL TO ACTION: Contact Congress

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Republicans now have a plan for the next COVID-19 assistance package. It is very different from the plan from the Democrats. Congress and the White House now need to work together to decide which parts of each plan to use for a final package - before their scheduled break on August 7.

It is possible that Congress will not spend any money to help people with disabilities and the people who support them in this bill. You can help by calling or emailing your members of Congress to tell them about how COVID-19 has changed your life, for example your housing, services, health, school, or work. Every call and email matters.

              • Email both your US Senators and US Representative with one click here - all you need to know is your address and what you want to say.  We'll do the rest!  Click here to get started.
                 
              • If you prefer to call, you can do so by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (voice) or (202) 224-3091(tty):  Ask to be connected to your Senators (Sen. Charles Grassley & Sen. Joni Ernst) and your Representative. Your US Representative will be one of the following: Cindy Axne, Abby Finkenauer, Steve King, or Dave Loebsack.  Just enter your address here to find out which represents you. 
                 
              • Read more about the Senate's HEALS Act: Republican Senators explain the Act in statements compiled by Senate Majority Leader McConnell. 
                 
              • For a broader comparison of the HEROES Act vs the HEALS Act, view these charts developed by the New York Times
                 
              • Read the updated Action Alert from AUCD for more details on how to contact your members of Congress and what to say when you do.You can read more about the differences between the two plans here.

Comparison of topics directly impacting people with disabilities: 

 Topic

 HEROES Act (HOUSE)

HEALS Act  (SENATE)

AUCD Priority*

Liability Wavers

None.

Five-year shield from corona-virus related lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title I, unless an entity - like a business, school or government agency - engaged in "gross negligence" or "intentional misconduct."

No liability waivers under ADA and other civil rights legislation.

Education

$90 billion in funding for schools, none tied to IDEA. 

$105 billion in funding for schools, none tied to IDEA.  

$12 billion in funding specifically for IDEA.  

Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS)

Investment to support wages, services, leave, and related critical needs to support access.

None.

$20 billion in funding for HCBS.

Developmental Disabilities network

$10 million for Developmental Disabilities Act Programs (UCEDDS, P&As, DD Councils).

$10 million for Protection and Advocacy Agencies. 

 

 $2 million for unspecified Technical Assistance.

$30 million for Developmental Disabilities Act Programs (UCEDDS, P&As, DD Councils).

Other

 $10 billion for nutrition services and increased flexibility to support greater access for people with disabilities.

Requirement for CDC Field Study Pertaining to Health Inequities, including "the impact of disability status on health care access and disease outcomes."

Forms bipartisan Congressional "rescue committees" to recommend plans for shoring up Social Security and Medicare.

 

 *Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)