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Capitol Correspondence - 11.13.18

Unfinished Business – What’s Left on the 115th Congress’ Docket and What Does That Mean for I/DD?

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The out-going Congress resumes session this week. With the next two months being the last in office for certain members of Congress, here is what to expect on House and Senate dockets:

BUDGET: Congress has 12 legislative days between when it returns to Washington DC on November 13 and the December 7 deadline when a portion of government runs out of funding. It will need to use that time to pass the farm bill, and the remaining seven budget bills necessary to fully fund the federal government for FY 19. These bills NOT include the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which already received full funding for 2019. The remaining bills are: Agriculture, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, Transportation-HUD, Commerce-Justice-Science, Homeland Security, and State-Foreign Operations.  As we shared last week, sentiments arising from the election have the potential to complicate the budget process. All of this “noise” will mean providers will have to speak up loudly to make sure Congress saves some bandwidth for…

MONEY FOLLOWS THE PERSON: A one-year extension of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program is waiting in the wings in the U.S. House of Representatives for a full floor vote. In the Senate, the companion bill’s prospects are contingent on a finding a pay-for. However, we are hearing rumors that the MFP bills in the House and Senate might advance if combined with the ACE Kids Act, which is a priority bill for several influential offices. That means the MFP bill could be combined with the ACE Kids Act in both the House and Senate.

SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES: The AV START Act (S. 1885), which would facilitate the development of self-driving vehicles and includes provisions to protect people with disabilities, is also in the queue for a full vote by the Senate floor after having passed the House and the relevant Senate committee. ANCOR has been advocating for this bill because of its potential to improve the independence of people with I/DD.

Please contact our Director of Legislative Affairs, Sarah Meek, at [email protected] for information on the bills or how to engage on these issues.