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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Disabled Americans Applaud House Passage of Build Back Better Act

November 20, 2021

Following the House passage of the Build Back Better Act, people with disabilities applauded how the historic legislation will provide an unprecedented investment in home and community-based services while lowering costs, creating good-paying, union jobs, and dealing everybody into the economy.

As Nobel Prize-winning economists and independent ratings agencies have confirmed, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Build Back Better Act are fully paid for, will reduce the deficit, and ease inflationary pressures by making the wealthiest individuals and corporations pay their fair share and stopping them from cheating on their tax bills.

Disabled Americans from across the country are applauding the passage of the historic legislation through the House and urging the Senate to take urgent action so President Biden can sign it into law and ensure we can build back better.

See below for what they are saying:

American Association of People with Disabilities: "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." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Center for American Progress, Disability Justice Initiative: "The #BuildBackBetterAct just passed and is heading to the Senate. This is a huge win for the disabled community, who have seen continued increased presence in Federal politics, as historic spending will help the community obtain more independence and equity." [Tweet, 11/19/2021]

Autistic Self Advocacy Network: "This morning, the House passed the Build Back Better Act. This bill includes the largest-ever federal investment in home- and community-based services (HCBS) to date — $150 billion for better access to services, better pay for workers, and better quality services. ASAN thanks our grassroots for their persistent, unyielding advocacy. Every phone call, email, and tweet made a difference. It is thanks to their dogged work that the House has taken this crucial step towards doing the right thing. Now it is time for the Senate to vote quickly to pass the same thing — no cut corners, no further reduction in this down payment, but a true expansion of access to community living. The disability community deserves a Congress that will fight for us and have our backs as we all begin to move forward from the devastating years of loss we have faced. This funding, only secured through our fighting tooth and nail, will begin to make the changes needed to support people with disabilities and support workers–but much more is needed. We will continue to fight for the policies our community needs, for as long as it takes." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Be A Hero: "'Today's passage of the Build Back Better Act is the biggest investment our country has seen in generations. It promises to create jobs, provide relief for working families, invests in climate change and is a historic downpayment of 150B in funding for home-and-community-based services. With this historic investment in HCBS, more states will be able to improve home care access and increase wages for care workers, meaning millions more people will be able to access care and their care workers will be paid a wage that reflects the life-saving impact of their work. The Senate must act swiftly and pass this bill, waiting any longer would be a dereliction of duty,' said Ady Barkan, Co-Founder of Be A Hero." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

National Council for Independent Living: "Today the House passed the Build Back Better Act (BBB), President Biden's transformational legislation with a historic $1.75 trillion investment in critical programs and services. While the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, BBB and the recently-passed infrastructure package will set our country on a path toward a more equitable recovery." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living: "The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living strongly supports President Biden's Build Back Better framework which lays out substantial investments in Child Care, Home and Community Based Services, Medicare Expansion, access to Broadband, Transit and significant investments in addressing our Climate Crisis. Investments to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) will have an immediate impact on the lives of people with disabilities in this country. Nearly 1 Million people with disabilities are currently on Medicaid waiting lists, waiting for essential in-home services. The Build Back Better framework will permanently improve Medicaid coverage for these services. This is a transformative investment." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Curt Decker, Executive Director, National Disability Rights Network: "The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) applauds the House of Representatives on passing the Build Back Better Act. The bill contains many provisions that will positively impact people with disabilities. The bill includes a host of programs and policies that will improve the lives of people with disabilities. Provisions such as dedicated funding for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and for the workforce that provides these critical services so that people with disabilities can live and thrive in their home and not in an institution. The bill also includes grants to states to assist in the transition of entities that pay subminimum wages to paying competitive wages in an integrated environment, investment in childcare and universal pre-kindergarten and important tax provisions that expand the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, which will benefit both people with disabilities and their families. The bill will also produce an abundance of new, accessible and affordable housing, far more than has been seen in a long time, and will ensure that such housing is livable for all persons." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

The Arc of the United States: "Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed President Biden's Build Back Better plan, bringing us one important step closer to making significant investments in our country, in the lives of people with disabilities and their families, and the direct support workforce. The reality is change can't come soon enough for millions of people. The proposal includes $150 billion for Medicaid home and community-based services, or HCBS, which provide the support people with disabilities need to be a part of their community, and better pay for the workers who support them." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates: "Thank you @SpeakerPelosi, @BobbyScott for #BuildBackBetter investments and nondiscrimination protections, the combo will create access + #equity for children & adults w/disabilities from birth, to school, to employment to independent living. #BuildBackBetterAct" [Tweet, 11/19/2021]

National Center for Learning Disabilities: "NCLD applauds the House of Representatives for passing the Build Back Better Act, a $1.75 trillion which includes historic investments in education. We urge the Senate to keep these critical priorities in place and pass the bill. [Tweet, 11/19/2021]

Association of University Centers on Disabilities: "THANK YOU! Because of the voices of AUCD members, self-advocates, family members & the entire disability community, #BuildBackBetter passed in the House. The bill makes critical investments for the community in #HCBS, paid leave & beyond. Next stop: The U.S. Senate! #CareCantWait" [Tweet, 11/19/2021]

Little Lobbyists: "The #BuildBackBetterAct has passed the House! Thank you to everyone who voted for it. We want to especially thank all those who worked and advocated - some for decades - to make this historic and transformative legislation a reality. The #BuildBackBetterAct is a BFD. We're celebrating this moment & so proud to be part of it. We're also committed to seeing it go ALL the way – beyond the Senate – to implementation that brings our nation closer to the caring, equitable & inclusive place ALL our kids deserve." [Twitter Thread, 11/19/2021]

Maria Town, Former Obama Appointee, President and CEO, American Association of People with Disabilities: "'By voting for the #BuildBackBetter Act, the House has taken a major step toward passing one of the most consequential pieces of legislation of our lifetimes.' HCBS, housing, competitive integrated employment - all of this & more is in #BBB #CripTheVote" [Tweet, 11/19/2021]

National Council on Aging: We applaud today's House passage of the #BuildBackBetterAct, with historic investments for #OlderAdults and their families to reduce prescription drug prices, provide #Medicare hearing aids and audiology services, expand home and community-based services, support caregivers, invest in the Older Americans Act, renew the Elder Justice Act, and more. We urge the Senate to act quickly to advance the legislation. [Twitter Thread, 11/19/2021]

Rebecca Cokley, Former Obama Appointee, Program Officer, Ford Foundation: "This will be game changing for the economic status of people with disabilities. Much further to go and more reforms needed, but if signed into law, this will be huge. #DemolishDisabledPoverty" [Tweet, 11/19/2021]

Ady Barkan, Founder, Be a Hero: Today is a day for celebration. Among many things, the House's passage of Build Back Better marks a historic investment in home and community based services. This $150 billion will be liberating for Seniors and disabled Americans across the country — literally changing lives." [Tweet, 11/19/2021]

Joseph R. Biden, WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Disabled Americans Applaud House Passage of Build Back Better Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/353482

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