WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD), who was the lead House Democratic sponsor of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act and has worked closely with the disability community for almost two decades, released the following statement today after meeting with leaders of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities late yesterday to discuss issues important to the 54 million Americans with disabilities:
“I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.
“We discussed at length the issues important to both this community and to me, such as our deep concern for provisions in President Bush's budget that pose serious threats to programs that benefit disabled Americans, such as block granting the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program and the Medicaid program, as well as inadequate funding for critical housing, education, healthcare, employment, and support programs.
“The Consortium is very aware of the adverse consequences of the Republican budget on disabled Americans, which I have discussed on the House Floor and at my weekly press availabilities. They expressed concern with applying ‘pay-as-you-go’ to only the spending side of the ledger, which virtually guarantees that critical programs, including Medicaid, IDEA, Section 8 Housing, election reform and Developmental Disability programs, will be sacrificed for more tax cuts.
“In addition, we discussed the Family Opportunity Act and Assistive Technology Act, which represent rare opportunities to work in a bipartisan manner in the House. Both the Consortium and I are hopeful that we will be able to complete action on those bills this year.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with the disability community on issues important to disabled and all Americans.”
The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities is a coalition of approximately 100 national disability organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures the self determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.