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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Keep Taking Action to Pass the Build Back Better Act; Join a Grassroots Virtual Rally with Senator Casey and Congresswomen Dingell!

The House passed the Build Back Better Act (BBB) last month. BBB is a federal funding plan to support rebuilding many national programs that have been long neglected. We are still waiting for the Senate to pass the bill. While Senate Majority Leader Schumer has set a Christmas deadline – and a vote next week is possible – the timeline is still unclear. Passing BBB is not a done deal. Our Senators need to keep hearing from us!

The $1.7 trillion of investments included in the Build Back Better Act are critically needed. BBB has $150 billion in funding for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and our workers. In addition to the HCBS investments, BBB:

  • makes the Money Follows the Person program and HCBS Spousal Impoverishment protections permanent;
  • includes funding for housing, education, clean energy and sustainability, immigration reform, and health coverage;
  • includes efforts to transition to competitive integrated employment;
  • closes the Medicaid coverage gap;
  • expands Medicare to cover hearing benefits;
  • reduces healthcare premiums;
  • extends important tax credits;
  • reduces drug prices;
  • establishes a paid family and medical leave program; and
  • invests in broadband Internet services nationwide.

You can see more about what’s included in the Build Back Better act in this framework and in the resources below. These are crucial services and programs that are needed now. We cannot keep waiting!

Take Action!

The Senate must keep BBB intact and pass it quickly. It is critical that our Senators keep hearing from us about how important this is. Call or email your state’s Senators about the things that matter most to you! Tell them their disabled constituents cannot keep waiting!

More information is below, including how to contact them and a sample script.

  • Call your Senators: Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (voice) or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and ask to be connected to your Senators.
  • You can find your Senators’ direct phone numbers and websites at senate.gov.
  • You can also see a list of Senators’ Twitter handles.
  • You can use Resistbot to turn texts into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters by texting “RESIST” to 50409.

Join Senator Bob Casey and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell for a Grassroots Virtual Rally!

On Monday, December 13 from 6:15-6:45 p.m. EST, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) will host a grassroots virtual rally to support the passage of the Build Back Better Act. Senator Casey and Congresswoman Dingell will highlight policies in the Build Back Better Act supporting people with disabilities and older adults and efforts to secure final passage of the bill. All are welcome, and no registration is needed. NCIL encourages you to join this important discussion.

Join the call:

This event is supported by the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), the Coalition of Citizens for Disabilities Long Term Services and Supports Task Force (CCD-LTSS), and the Disability and Aging Collaborative (DAC). Open Rally Flyer (PDF).

Sample Script (please feel free to personalize):

Hi, my name is [YOUR FULL NAME], and I’m from [CITY, STATE].

I am [calling / writing] to ask [Senator NAME] for their support of quick passage of the Build Back Better Act with at least $150 billion for home and community based services. The House passed the Build Back Better Act last month, and we are counting on the Senate to do the same!

Many disabled people and older adults rely on HCBS to live in our homes and participate in our communities. Currently, states are not meeting the needs of their disabled residents, forcing many people to remain on years-long waiting lists and others to be institutionalized.

As we have seen, people in these settings are at much higher risk of infection and death from COVID-19. In light of the disproportionate COVID infection and death rates in institutions, improving access to HCBS is more urgent than ever. We need Congress to provide this critical and long-overdue investment. The House included this funding in the Build Back Better Act, and we are counting on the Senate to include it, too, and to pass the package quickly!

Thank you for your time. I hope I can count on your support for your disabled constituents.

(Your name)

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL OR EMAILING: please leave your full street address and zip code. This will ensure your call or email is tallied]

Additional Resources:

Comments

  1. Jeanne Urban says

    Thank you, Senator Casey & Congressman Dingle, for supporting the Build Back Better Act.

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