Yesterday, the House voted 225 to 192 to pass the ADA Education and Reform Act. Misleadingly titled, this act guts the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that was first enacted in 1990 to ensure protections for the 55 million Americans living with disabilities. Supporters of the bill argued that it protected businesses from unnecessary lawsuits—but in reality, it shifts the burden of compliance with the law from business owners to people with disabilities whose civil rights are being violated.
Disability activists and civil rights organizations strongly opposed the bill, but the creation and progression of the bill flew mostly under the radar in national news. Rebecca Cokely, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, wrote, “As a disabled person who grew up knowing I had a shot at the American dream thanks to the ADA, I am horrified to watch Congress tell me, and the 1 in 5 Americans with disabilities, that we do not deserve the same rights as other Americans.”
The legislation will now move to the Senate, which should throw this legislation where it belongs: in the trash.
ACTION OF THE DAY
No Rest During Recess. Next week, Congress will be in recess—but that doesn’t mean we’ll be taking the week off. Here’s some actions you can take starting on Tuesday:
- If you’re member of Congress is holding a town hall, show up, and make your voice heard! To find town halls near you, go to TownHallProject.com.
- Can’t make it to an in-person town hall? Organizing for Action is hosting digital town halls in 34 key districts. Find out more here.
- Angry about the attempts to cover up or stop the Mueller investigation? Join the Cover Up Caucus next week.
Students Speaking Out. As people grieve with Parkland and the families who lost loved ones, many Americans are also speaking out about the need for commonsense gun policies. Some of the individuals speaking up the most? Students who survived the shooting. Some students are responding directly to conservative commentators or the NRA, while others are sharing the harrowing text conversations they had with their loved ones while they were in hiding. The students know that thoughts and prayers will not prevent future massacres from occurring. Write to your members of Congress today using Generation Progress’s new tool.
Protection for Dreamers Hits Wall in Senate. Yesterday, the Senate voted on four amendments related to Dreamers and immigration. All of the amendments failed, meaning that Dreamers still have no permanent solution. The talks were uncertain from the beginning, but once Trump decided to double down on his nativist agenda and voiced his opposition to any of the bipartisan compromises, it was clear that no bill would pass. Find out how your senators voted on each amendment here. Make no mistake: Yesterday was a setback, but the fight to protect Dreamers continues.
UNDER THE RADAR
Valentine’s Day for Millionaires. While most Americans will pay into Social Security all year round, because of the payroll tax cap, February 16th is when the last millionaire finishes paying into Social Security for the year. New analysis finds President Trump himself stopped paying into Social Security less than one hour into January 1st the year before becoming president, and his rich Cabinet members and donors soon thereafter. If not for such skyrocketing top incomes, the report finds, Social Security’s trust funds would have $1.3 trillion more in assets. New polling show Americans overwhelmingly want policymakers to strengthen Social Security—instead of brutally slashing Social Security like Trump’s budget would. Go here to tell policymakers #HandsOff Social Security.