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

Shannon Dillon shannonldillon at gmail.com
Tue Apr 28 21:34:36 UTC 2020

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Pare, John via NFBNet-Members-List" <nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2020 17:38:18 +0000
Subject: [Nfbnet-members-list] Legislative Alert - April 28, 2020
To: "nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org" <nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.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
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

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.


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<mailto: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<mailto: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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Secretary and Legislative Coordinator
National Federation of the Blind
of California
The National Federation of the Blind is a community of members and
friends who believe in the hopes and dreams of the nation’s blind.
Every day we work together to help blind people live the lives they

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