Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

November Autism Matters: Advocacy Update – Legislative Landscape for 114th Congress

November Autism Matters: Advocacy Update – Legislative Landscape for 114th Congress

General elections for 33 U.S. Senate seats and 435 U.S. House of Representatives seats were held on Nov 4, 2014.  Republicans picked up 7 Senate seats during the election and regained the majority they lost in 2006. In the House, Republicans will keep control with a 243 to 178 majority with some races still uncalled.

Key Facts

1. Chairmanships of Senate committees will go to Republicans. 2. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) will be retiring at the end of the year and he has been a great champion on disability issues.

3. Sixty votes are required in the Senate to get a bill passed and to bring to the desk of President Obama. President Obama does have the veto power over any bill that is passed through Congress.

4. The Senate needs 67 votes to override a presidential veto.

5. If the President issues an Executive Order, Congress would likely be limited to restricting funding to possible agencies.

Bills which will be impacted in the 114th Congress:

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) ACT (S. 313/H.R. 647): Legislation that would create tax-free accounts to be used to save for disability-related expenses is awaiting a vote in the full House and Senate after passing out of committee in July.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Re-authorization: Although scheduled to be reauthorized in 2011, re authorization could be delayed until 2015 or later. The last re-authorization bill secured bipartisan support in Congress.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): Republican aides on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee are reporting that Senate committees with jurisdiction over health issues will ramp up oversight of the Affordable Care Act.

Keeping All Students Safe (KASSA) Act (S. 2036/H.R. 1893): Continue to work on recruiting co-sponsors and educating the new Congress.

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