[NFBC-Info] Fwd: [Nfbnet-members-list] Legislative Alert - April 28, 2020

Rachel Grider rachel.grider at gmail.com
Tue Apr 28 21:21:34 UTC 2020

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Pare, John via NFBNet-Members-List" <nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org>
> Date: April 28, 2020 at 11:18:13 PDT
> To: "nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org" <nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org>
> Subject: [Nfbnet-members-list] Legislative Alert - April 28, 2020
> Reply-To: "Pare, John" <JPare at nfb.org>
> Dear Fellow Federationists:
> As President Riccobono mentioned in yesterday's Notebook, the Senate will be returning to Washington on May 4 with the House of Representatives possibly returning later in the month.
> When they return, one of the first items on their agenda will most likely be a fourth coronavirus relief package. Our goal is to have Congress include the text of the Access Technology Affordability Act (ATAA) and a provision to eliminate the waiting periods for SSDI and Medicare in the next bill. 
> There are two parts to this plan. For ATAA, the most effective way to have it included in the bill is for you to call or email your representative and two senators and ask them to cosponsor the ATAA (H.R. 2086/S. 815). More cosponsors means more general support for the legislation, which gives it a greater chance of being written into the bigger bill. We currently have 83 cosponsors in the House (H.R. 2086) and 22 cosponsors in the Senate (S. 815). These cosponsor counts are impressive, but we need even more cosponsors to ensure it is included in the next coronavirus relief bill. A complete list of current cosponsors is included at the end of this email. If you notice your representative or senator's name on that list, then just disregard the first paragraph of the below script when you call or email. 
> Because we don't have any standalone legislation for the elimination of the SSDI and Medicare waiting periods, we will have to let them know how important this is, and how much it would benefit all blind Americans if it were included in the bill. 
> When you call or email, you might say the following:
> "Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME], and I am a constituent of [REPRESENTATIVE/SENATOR NAME]. I live in [CITY, STATE]. I would like to urge [REPRESENTATIVE/SENATOR NAME] to cosponsor the Access Technology Affordability Act [H.R. 2086 in the House/S. 815 in the Senate]. This legislation removes an employment barrier commonly experienced by blind Americans who cannot afford the high cost of access technology by creating a refundable tax credit in the amount of $2,000 to offset the cost of these technologies. In the wake of the coronavirus an employment bill for blind Americans is needed more than ever. 
> I am also calling to urge [REPRESENTATIVE/SENATOR NAME] to support language that would waive waiting periods for SSDI payments and medicare benefits during this national crisis. It’s no secret many Americans are losing their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including those with disabilities. As it currently stands, persons with disabilities wait five months before their SSDI benefits begin and 24 months before they are Medicare-eligible. Please include language to temporarily waive these waiting periods in the next coronavirus relief legislation. 
> Thanks."
> You can contact your member of Congress by calling the Capitol Switchboard and asking for the office in question. The number is 202-224-3121. If you email your representative or senators, please copy John Pare at jpare at nfb.org. Your calls and emails do make a difference.
> It is best to call or email the relevant tax staffer in your member of Congress's office. If you need the name and email of the appropriate staff person for any Senate or House office, please email Jesa Medders at jmedders at nfb.org.
> We need both of these items more than ever. Not only do we need the ATAA to help facilitate getting more blind Americans into the workforce, we also need it to help us with independent living at home. Also, Americans with disabilities who become eligible during the COVID-19 pandemic should not have to wait 5 and 24 months to receive their SSDI and Medicare benefits. While we are in favor of removing these waiting periods permanently, there is no question that they should be eliminated during the pandemic.
> I know most of you have written or called on these topics but I urge you to email or call again.
> This is our opportunity to improve employment possibilities for blind Americans. This is our opportunity to make our voices heard. This is our opportunity to help Americans with disabilities who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
> We must take this opportunity and we will succeed!
> John Pare
> National Federation of the Blind
> 410-659-9314, extension 2218
> H.R. 2086 Cosponsors
> Rep. Rogers, Mike D. [R-AL-3]
> Rep. Gallego, Ruben [D-AZ-7]
> Rep. Kirkpatrick, Ann [D-AZ-2]
> Rep. Schweikert, David [R-AZ-6]
> Rep. Aguilar, Pete [D-CA-31]
> Rep. Calvert, Ken [R-CA-42]
> Rep. Eshoo, Anna G. [D-CA-18]
> Rep. Harder, Josh [D-CA-10]
> Rep. Hunter, Duncan D. [R-CA-50]
> Rep. Khanna, Ro [D-CA-17]
> Rep. Lieu, Ted [D-CA-33]
> Rep. Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA-6]
> Rep. Panetta, Jimmy [D-CA-20]
> Rep. Waters, Maxine [D-CA-43]
> Rep. Crow, Jason [D-CO-6]
> Rep. DeGette, Diana [D-CO-1]
> Rep. Neguse, Joe [D-CO-2]
> Rep. Larson, John B. [D-CT-1]
> Rep. Blunt Rochester, Lisa [D-DE-At Large]
> Rep. Gaetz, Matt [R-FL-1]
> Rep. Lawson, Al, Jr. [D-FL-5]
> Rep. Murphy, Stephanie N. [D-FL-7]
> Rep. Rutherford, John H. [R-FL-4]
> Rep. Shalala, Donna E. [D-FL-27]
> Rep. Soto, Darren [D-FL-9]
> Rep. Spano, Ross [R-FL-15]
> Rep. Yoho, Ted S. [R-FL-3]
> Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2]
> Rep. Davis, Rodney [R-IL-13]
> Rep. Foster, Bill [D-IL-11]
> Rep. Garcia, Jesus G. "Chuy" [D-IL-4]
> Rep. Kelly, Robin L. [D-IL-2]
> Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Raja [D-IL-8]
> Rep. LaHood, Darin [R-IL-18]
> Rep. Lipinski, Daniel [D-IL-3]
> Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9]
> Rep. Schneider, Bradley Scott [D-IL-10]
> Rep. Carson, Andre [D-IN-7]
> Rep. Visclosky, Peter J. [D-IN-1]
> Rep. Yarmuth, John A. [D-KY-3]
> Rep. Golden, Jared F. [D-ME-2]
> Rep. Pingree, Chellie [D-ME-1]
> Rep. Cummings, Elijah E. [D-MD-7]
> Rep. Raskin, Jamie [D-MD-8]
> Rep. Ruppersberger, C. A. Dutch [D-MD-2]
> Rep. Sarbanes, John P. [D-MD-3]
> Rep. Trone, David J. [D-MD-6]
> Rep. Lynch, Stephen F. [D-MA-8]
> Rep. Pressley, Ayanna [D-MA-7]
> Rep. Huizenga, Bill [R-MI-2]
> Rep. Kildee, Daniel T. [D-MI-5]
> Rep. Levin, Andy [D-MI-9]
> Rep. Moolenaar, John R. [R-MI-4]
> Rep. Stevens, Haley M. [D-MI-11]
> Rep. Tlaib, Rashida [D-MI-13]
> Rep. Upton, Fred [R-MI-6]
> Rep. Cleaver, Emanuel [D-MO-5]
> Rep. Luetkemeyer, Blaine [R-MO-3]
> Rep. Kuster, Ann M. [D-NH-2]
> Rep. Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [D-NJ-9]
> Rep. Sires, Albio [D-NJ-8]
> Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4]
> Rep. Morelle, Joseph D. [D-NY-25]
> Rep. Serrano, Jose E. [D-NY-15]
> Rep. Suozzi, Thomas R. [D-NY-3]
> Rep. Price, David E. [D-NC-4]
> Rep. Ryan, Tim [D-OH-13]
> Rep. Stivers, Steve [R-OH-15]
> Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]
> Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR-4]
> Rep. Dean, Madeleine [D-PA-4]
> Rep. Evans, Dwight [D-PA-3]
> Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-1]
> Rep. Kelly, Mike [R-PA-16]
> Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9]
> Rep. Cooper, Jim [D-TN-5]
> Rep. Doggett, Lloyd [D-TX-35]
> Rep. Gohmert, Louie [R-TX-1]
> Rep. Gooden, Lance [R-TX-5]
> Rep. Stewart, Chris [R-UT-2]
> Rep. Luria, Elaine G. [D-VA-2]
> Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1]
> Rep. Pocan, Mark [D-WI-2]
> S. 815 Cosponsors
> Sen. Jones, Doug [D-AL]
> Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK]
> Sen. Sullivan, Dan [R-AK]
> Sen. Duckworth, Tammy [D-IL]
> Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME]
> Sen. King, Angus S., Jr. [I-ME]
> Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD]
> Sen. Van Hollen, Chris [D-MD]
> Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN]
> Sen. Blunt, Roy [R-MO]
> Sen. Tester, Jon [D-MT]
> Sen. Fischer, Deb [R-NE]
> Sen. Rosen, Jacky [D-NV]
> Sen. Hassan, Margaret Wood [D-NH]
> Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ]
> Sen. Udall, Tom [D-NM]
> Sen. Burr, Richard [R-NC]
> Sen. Cramer, Kevin [R-ND]
> Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH]
> Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR]
> Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA]
> Sen. Capito, Shelley Moore [R-WV]
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