FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2021
CONTACT: Jess Davidson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C. – This morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act (H.R.5376), sending it to the Senate for final passage of the historic social infrastructure legislation. The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) released the following statement:
AAPD celebrates the passage of the Build Back Better Act by the House. If passed by the Senate and signed into law, this bill would transform the lives of tens of millions of disabled people, older adults, working families, women, people of color, low-income and middle-class people, and many others.
“Today, by voting for the Build Back Better Act, the House of Representatives has taken a major step toward passing one of the most consequential pieces of legislation of our lifetimes. We applaud and thank the Congressional leadership who have overseen this process, especially Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and Congressman Frank Pallone, for their dedication and persistence.” said Maria Town, President and CEO of AAPD.
“Now it’s time to finish the job. The Senate must work to swiftly resolve any remaining issues and pass the Build Back Better Act without further delay. Already, too many Americans—people with disabilities, our families, and direct support workers alike—have suffered because of a lack of access to services and support. Without the social infrastructure investments in this bill, the Americans most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will not be able to equally participate in the next phase of our economic recovery. It does not matter if we create economic advancement opportunities through the recently signed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act if those opportunities remain inaccessible to people with disabilities because they cannot receive the services they need to thrive in their homes and communities.”
The legislation that passed today includes a historic $150 billion dollar investment in home-and community-based services (HCBS), which would be the single-largest investment in the program in its history. This funding will go a long way in answering the call of decades of activism to ensure any disabled or aging person who needs support can get assistance in the comfort of their own homes, while remaining integrated into their communities.
The bill also includes several disability-focused investments that further the goals of building a more inclusive nation and economy. Among these investments are $300 million in grants for encouraging employers to transition from using 14c certificates to paying at least minimum wage and transforming to competitive integrated employment and $450 million set aside for supportive housing for people with disabilities. Further, the Build Back Better Act requires that the disability community be directly engaged and involved during the implementation of these vital initiatives.
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the over 61 million Americans with disabilities by promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation. To learn more, visit the AAPD website: www.aapd.com.