FRIDAY 02/16/18

FEDERAL:

PROTECT THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The House has passed HR 620 with a 225-192 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which Congress passed in 1990, is designed to provide people with disabilities equal access to employment, government services, public accommodations and businesses, and transportation services. Title III of the ADA requires businesses to proactively remove obstacles that prevent people with disabilities from accessing their establishments. However, businesses have resisted Title III for decades and have now pressured Congress to pass a law, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, to drastically limit Title III enforcement.

The ADA Education and Reform Act, H.R. 620, would eliminate all incentives for businesses to proactively ensure their businesses are accessible to people with disabilities. Instead, people with disabilities would have to notify businesses when their rights are violated, wait six months for the business to act to address issues, and only then bring the matter to court. The bill further exempts businesses from facing any penalties for noncompliance, as long as they can show "substantial progress" in fixing issues. Thus, people with disabilities could be forced to wait to access necessary services for months or even years while waiting for businesses to decide to comply with the ADA.

By shifting the responsibility of ADA compliance from businesses to people with disabilities, Congress is essentially destroying a key element of the ADA. People with disabilities already face substantial obstacles to full participation in public life even with Title III in place. It would be unacceptable to weaken this provision further.

Let's also demand our House Representatives explain their yes vote for this terrible bill.

 

Script for Senate:

Hi, my name is _______ and I'm a constituent from zip code ________.

I'm calling to strongly urge Senator _________ to oppose HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act. It is unacceptable to make individuals with disabilities responsible for ensuring businesses comply with the ADA. This bill goes against the spirit of the ADA and will hinder full access to local businesses for people with disabilities.

Thank you for your time and attention.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

 

Script for House:

Hi, my name is _______ and I'm a constituent from zip code ________.

I'm calling to ask Representative _________ to explain his/her vote for HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act. It is unacceptable to make individuals with disabilities responsible for ensuring businesses comply with the ADA. This bill goes against the spirit of the ADA and will hinder full access to local businesses for people with disabilities. I want Representative _____ to make a public statement explaining how this bill will help even ONE of his/her constituents with disabilities? Please take down my contact info so you can get back to me on when or if Rep _____ will address this issue. I need an answer.

Thank you for your time and attention.

___________

DEMAND SHULKIN AND PRUITT RESIGN FOR MISAPPROPRIATION OF TRAVEL FUNDS

Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin and his chief of staff, Viveca Wright Simpson, have been caught misleading and misusing federal funds for travel. According to a report released by the VA Inspector General, Simpson misled an aide to ensure that the VA paid for Shulkins' wife to accompany him on a European trip after the original request was denied. He accepted tickets to Wimbledon and used a staff aide as a personal travel concierge. Travel expenses totaled over $122,000 for 3 1/2 days of work time.

Similarly, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently flew first class from D.C. to NYC, to the tune of $1640 for a 41 minute flight. Two days later, he and his staff used a military jet to travel from Ohio to New York, costing taxpayers over $36k. His extravagant first class travel habits have gone on for months without as much as a raised eyebrow from Congress or the White House. Last year, HHS Secretary Tom Price resigned after his lavish travel habits were revealed publicly.

Shulkin is the 5th official to be investigated for travel expense abuses. This kind of brazen and greedy abuse of the public funds is unacceptable. Demand that your representatives to call out this unethical behavior and demand Shulkin and Pruitt resign.

 

Script:

Hi, my name is _______ and I’m a constituent from zip code _______.

I’m calling today because I'm disgusted with the unethical and wasteful travel habits of both David Shulkin of the VA and Scott Pruitt of the EPA. Federal officials have a duty to use public funds judiciously and not squander money on unnecessary extravagance and personal travel. I urge Senator/Rep _________  to demand that both resign.

Thank you for your time and attention.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

 

Senator Richard Burr

Washington, DC: (202) 224-3154

Winston-Salem: (336) 631-5125

 

Senator Thom Tillis

Washington, DC: (202) 224-6342 

High Point: (336) 885-0685

 

HOUSE:

Rep. Virginia Foxx

Clemmons, NC (336) 778-0211

Washington, DC (202) 225-2071

 

Rep. Ted Budd

Advance, NC (336) 998-1313

Washington, DC (202-225-4531

 

Rep. Mark Walker

Greensboro, NC (336) 333-5005

Washington, DC (202) 225-3065