Last week, ADAPT held a historic action on the Hill, significantly increasing the number of Disability Integration Act (DIA) co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. We are thrilled to inform you that – in response to a meeting with Montana ADAPTers during that action – Representative Gianforte (R-MT) has signed on to co-sponsor the Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555)! We are grateful to Representative Gianforte and so excited to have his support. Importantly, Representative Gianforte serves on the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee, and his co-sponsorship gives us the majority we need to ensure passage through the subcommittee!
To pass on the House floor in July, the Disability Integration Act needs the support of a majority of
- the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee,
- the full Energy and Commerce Committee,
- the Judiciary Committee,
- the House Rules Committee and
- the full House of Representatives
With Representative Gianforte’s co-sponsorship, we have secured a majority of DIA co-sponsors at every step of the process.
- With the co-sponsorship of Representative Gianforte, 16 of the 31 members of the Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee are cosponsors of DIA! Additionally, Representative Eshoo who is chair of the subcommittee was a co-sponsor of the bill during the last Congress and has publicly stated that the reason she is not a co-sponsor is that she is chair of the sub-committee which has jurisdiction over the bill so we can count on her support as well.
- With the co-sponsorship of Representative Gianforte, 29 of the 55 members of the Energy and Commerce Committee are cosponsors of DIA! Again, this support doesn’t include either Representative Eshoo or Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Representative Pallone who committed to co-sponsoring DIA during his campaign for Congress but isn’t a co-sponsor because he is chair of the E&C Committee, so we have even more support by the Energy and Commerce Committee even though he isn’t listed as a co-sponsor.
- As of today, 24 of the 41 members of the Judiciary Committee, including the committee chair Representative Nadler, are DIA co-sponsors! Our understanding is that the Judiciary committee has handed off the bill to the Energy and Commerce committee, but the strong show of support for the bill in the Judiciary Committee is important to showing support for the bill and highlighting the fact that this is civil rights legislation.
- On the House Rules Committee, 9 of 13 members are DIA co-sponsors! The House Rules Committee is important because it determines whether, and in what order, to schedule consideration of bills on the floor of the House.
- Although only 215 are officially listed as House co-sponsors on Congress.govhttp://subscribe.cdrnys.org//lt.php?id=eB1QBwBFBlYDTAI, more than 218 members of the House of Representatives have contacted Representative Sensenbrenner adding their names as co-sponsors of the Disability Integration Act. That’s a majority of the House of Representatives! We should see the additional co-sponsors listed after the Congressional recess. It is important to note that we have bi-partisan support for DIA. Members from both sides of the aisle – and virtually every point on the political spectrum – are supporting our right to live in freedom. We appreciate and need all of them if we are going to pass this bill.
Although there are still procedural hoops to jump through, with such strong support in Congress, it’s now up to House leadership to move the bill forward. We hope – and expect – that they will deliver on their promise of civil rights for all Americans and work with us to pass the DIA. We remain optimistic that they can get the job done so we can all celebrate the bill being passed on the House floor this July when thousands of people with disabilities will be in Washington, DC.
Thank you to everyone who has worked to get us this far! Since reintroduction just four short months ago, the Disability Integration Act has garnered unprecedented supported and co-sponsorship, but there is more work to be done. We want to thank all of you who have worked so hard to educate your members of Congress and secure their co-sponsorship. Because of your hard work, we are so much closer to seeing DIA become law!
Contact your Representatives in the House of Representatives and thank them if they are co-sponsoring DIA and urge them to co-sponsor this critical civil rights legislation if they are not. To find our if your member of Congress is a co-sponsor, go to: http://c4ci.org/116th_congress.php
To co-sponsor the bill, staff for your Congressional Representative simply needs to contact Amy Bos in Representative Sensenbrenner’s office. Her email address is Amy.Bos@mail.House.gov.