On House Floor Commemorating the ADA Amendments Act

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... people, all of whom wanted to see the act amended and improved. and finally came together under the leadership of mr. hoyer and that's why we are here today and that's why the senate and house will pass this. we'll have a ceremony with the president signing these amendments. thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the chairman for his remarks. i thank mr. mckeon for his leadership and willingness to work together on a difficult issue. i certainly want to acknowledge and thank my friend, jim sensenbrenner. congressman sensenbrenner who has been chairman of the committee, the judiciary committee, who has been a leader in this congress and his wife, cheryl. cheryl's been mentioned. cheryl like the young man we just saw speak, congressman jim langevin, have shown great courage, but also have shown that disability is not disabling. that we ought to look at the ability people have, what they can do, not what they can't do. all of us can't do certain things. i urge people to look at what people can do. that's what this bill was about in 1990. that's what this bill is about today. i am very pleased to be here to speak on behalf of this bill. i think this bill may well pass unanimously. and the public might conclude therefore that this was not contentious or difficult. it was both. not contentious in terms of enabling those with disabilities to be fully included in our society, but how to do that. how to do that in the context of making sure that the business community could live with this, that the disabilities community could live with this, and that we did in fact accomplish the objectives that we intended. i want to thank as well the chamber of commerce, the national association of manufacturers, and other business groups who came together with the disability community with a common objective. randy johnson worked on behalf of the chamber of commerce. randy johnson at a press conference that was held when the senate passed this bill just a few days ago said that he was a staffer here in 1988 and 1989 and 1990 when we passed the americans with disabilities act. he made the observation that he sat on the floor, he worked with the leadership on the republican side and the democratic side, worked particularly with my friend, steve bartlett, congressman steve bartlett, from texas who was intimately involved in fashioning and working out the compromises necessary to overwhelmingly pass the a.d.a. in 1990. and he said it was clear then that the intent of congress had been misconstrued by the supreme court. this is randy johnson. republican staffer. leader now in the chamber of commerce in the united states. who helped fashion this bill. and this bill really says, yes, we agree with that in a bipartisan way. the supreme court misinterpreted what our intent was. and our intent was to be inclusive. civil rights bills are intended to be interpreted broadly. why? because we want to make sure that every american has the benefits that america has to offer. the opportunities that america has to offer. and to empower them to help america be a better country. to bring their talents and their skills and their motivation to bear in the public and private sectors. i want to thank as well nancy zirken, my lawyer hi fellbloom who has worked on this 20-plus years. it's been 18 years since we passed the a.d.a. but as mr. miller knows it's been 20-plus years, 25 years really that we have been working on getting to this point. i also want to thank mike partyson of h.r. policy and jerry gillespie. there are so many people that i could spend the next five, 10 minutes mentioning just name after name after name who made this happen. i won't do that. not to diminish them in any way, but to say that this is the result of the efforts of many. not of me. but of many. not of mr. miller alone or the ranking member alone or any -- mr. sensenbrenner. but many dedicated to this cause. we are here to build on the accomplishments of the landmark disabilities act of 1990. we wouldn't be here at all, however, without the hard work, frankly, of a very close friend of mine, former member of ...