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Autism National Press Statement

The Autism Society National office sits on the Fiscal Policy Task Force. Our press statement came out this morning regarding the next issues we are dealing with:  

Washington DC, July 19, 2017 - The Fiscal Policy Task Force of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a national coalition of more than 100 national disability organizations, is deeply troubled by the priorities outlined by the Fiscal Year (FY 2018) House Budget Resolution released by Budget Committee Chairperson Diane Black yesterday.  The improperly named 10-year budget plan - “Building a Better America” - would undermine the foundation of community living for people with disabilities.  It paves the way to fast-track deep cuts to a wide range of programs that people with disabilities rely on for their health, safety, and wellbeing, while setting up massive tax cuts to the most prosperous. 

The budget’s premise that the government’s role in the lives of our citizens is harmful is a deeply flawed one.  In fact, for people with disabilities, it is only because of government programs and protections that most have an opportunity to live dignified and independent lives.  Yet this budget seeks trillions in cuts to essential programs and endorses a number of budgetary changes that promise lasting harm. 

CCD’s Fiscal Policy Task Force is particularly concerned about the damaging effects that would be caused by the following proposals in the House Budget:

  • Non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs that include education, housing, and employment are cut by $1.3 trillion while simultaneously increasing defense spending by $930 billion.
  • Medicaid and other health care programs are cut by $1.5 trillion.
  • A directive to the Ways and Means Committee to find at least $52 billion in cuts, putting critical programs under the Committee at risk.
  • $4 billion in cuts to Social Security by preventing unemployed workers with disabilities from receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and unemployment insurance benefits they have earned.
  • Cutting Medicare by $487 billion and converting it to a premium support system in which seniors would have capped amounts of funding to purchase either a private plan or traditional Medicare.
  • Endorsing a balanced budget constitutional amendment for ratification by the states that would likely make recessions longer and deeper and harm essential federal programs.
  • A policy on unauthorized appropriations that could effectively end numerous federal programs and remove decision making from appropriators.
  • Undermining the federal regulatory system that helps to ensure accountability and transparency.

“People with disabilities need a bipartisan budget that protects Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security and provides commensurate increases for both defense and nondefense spending.  Instead, this budget targets the most vital mandatory programs for people with disabilities and doubles down on harmful cuts to NDD programs.” stated Kim Musheno,” CCD Chair.  CCD urges Congress to reject this budget and work across the political aisle on solutions that will address our nation’s priorities without targeting people with disabilities.

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities is a broad coalition of national organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures the education, self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society. For more information visit www.c-c-d.org.

Autism Society

Tonia Ferguson, Esq. | Vice President, Public Policy and Advocacy | Autism Society
4340 East West Hwy Suite 350 Bethesda, MD 20814 | 301-657-0881 x9020 | www.autism-society.org