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Capitol Correspondence - 03.19.18

Federal Budget Bill Facing Delays – Please Use Time to Advocate for MFP

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While Congressional Leadership had hoped to hold a vote on the bill that would fund the federal government (budget omnibus bill) last Friday, the vote has been delayed by disagreements over including certain policy riders in the omnibus. These include riders funding for the New York/New Jersey Gateway project, which the White House opposes, and language surrounding abortion funding, which concern Democratic Members of Congress oppose. House GOP Leadership is rumored to be planning to release a draft version of the bill in the later afternoon / early evening today (Monday, March 19).

At this time, policymakers are not expecting these delays to lead a federal government shutdown or short-term stopgap bill. The government will run out of funding on March 23rd and negotiations are coming up against that deadline, but discussions are still actively on-going and a vote is still expected this week, though it is unclear when it would occur. ANCOR is using the delay to advocate for the EMPOWER Care Act, which renews Money Follows the Person (MFP) funding, to be included in the omnibus bill – please join our efforts to defend this important re-balancing program.

You can contact your Senators in 3 easy steps:

  • Dial the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224 3121.
  • Ask the operator to connect you to your Senators.
  • Use the script below to either leave a message with a staffer or leave voicemail.

“Hello. I am calling as a constituent who cares deeply about people with disabilities. Please ask the Senator to advocate for S.2227 – the EMPOWER Care Act – to be included in the budget omnibus bill. The EMPOWER Care Act renews the now-expired Money Follows the Person program, which allows people with disabilities to live in the community like everyone else. It is an important bill and worthy of inclusion in the omnibus, especially since pharmaceutical companies have a rider in the omnibus bill. Money Follows the Person is equally deserving of inclusion and we hope the Senator will make that ask.”

If you do not know who your Senators are, our ANCOR Amplifier “Find Your Elected Official” tool will help you identify them.

As an additional resource, see the coalition letter in support of S. 2227 which ANCOR signed onto last week.

Please do not delay placing this call – negotiations for the omnibus bill are moving fast.