Capitol Correspondence - 02.09.21

New Developments on Administration Cabinet and Agency Appointments

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As the Biden administration continues to staff up key Cabinet and agency positions, two developments are of interest to the disability community:

While not yet officially nominated, Chiquita Brooks-Lasure has emerged as a front-runner to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The timeframe for her nomination is unclear, as Politico notes in the linked article: “People familiar with the Biden team’s discussions said they don’t appear to be in a rush to declare a nominee for CMS administrator, because they are focused on the pandemic and getting Senate confirmation of Biden’s nominee for health secretary, Xavier Becerra.”

Because CMS funds and regulates the majority of disability supports in the U.S., ANCOR will be closely following this nomination. We will also continue our practice of submitting questions for relevant congressional committee members to ask the final nominee during their nomination hearing.

The Senate confirms Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation. His portfolio will include public transportation, which because of its greater affordability compared to other modes of transportation is essential to the disability community. Coalitions in which ANCOR participates have been alarmed by the revenue loss to public transportation during the pandemic, as potential cuts to service to offset revenue losses increase barriers to people with disabilities’ participation in society. With the Senate beginning conversations on the role of public transportation in racial and economic equity, ANCOR will generally monitor whether the administration also engages in similar efforts.

Additionally, the Department of Transportation oversees the regulation of the budding self-driving vehicle industry. ANCOR participates in coalition advocacy on this issue due to its potential for increasing the independence of people with disabilities.