In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the congressional role in the issue.
A July 26 release from Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI):
Today, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus (BDC), Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI-02), named Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) a new co-chair of the BDC, alongside Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01). The announcement comes on the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Rep. Langevin, the first quadriplegic ever elected to Congress, founded the Caucus in 2001 shortly after being elected to the House of Representatives. For over 20 years, the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus has served as a space to inform, educate, and raise awareness in Congress on the many issues that affect people with disabilities. Boasting more than 50 members, the Caucus has helped Congressmen and women on both sides of the aisle find common ground in pursuit of moving the needle on disability issues.
“It is an honor to be named a co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, and I thank my friend and colleague Rep. Langevin for the opportunity to continue to build on his efforts to promote equality and remove barriers for Americans with disabilities. Rep. Langevin has made monumental progress advancing disability rights and bringing attention to these issues with graciousness and candor, and his leadership in Congress will be missed,” said Rep. Dingell. “Living with my husband who experienced mobility problems later in his life gave me a better understanding of just how far we still must go to ensure Americans with disabilities have access to the same experiences and opportunities as everyone else. I look forward to working with the Caucus to advance policies that promote equity and address barriers to inclusion in years ahead.”
“22 years ago, I founded the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus to raise awareness among members of Congress in both parties about the challenges facing Americans with disabilities. Since then, our caucus has brought Republicans and Democrats together to deliver countless wins for the disability community,” said Rep. Jim Langevin, founder of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus. “As my tenure in Congress begins to wind down, I am so proud to welcome Representatives Debbie Dingell and Brian Fitzpatrick as my two, new co-chairs of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus. I know that they share my fierce commitment to creating a society that is fully inclusive and accessible for all Americans, and I am confident that the Caucus will be in strong, capable hands after I am no longer in Congress.”
“I am honored to be the new co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus and I look forward to working across the aisle to help the 61 million Americans living with a disability,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “During my time in Congress, I have been committed and will remain committed to ensuring those living with a disability have the access and coverage they not only need but deserve. As we celebrate the 32nd Anniversary of the ADA, we must recognize that there is more we can do to address the challenges that our disabled community is facing.”
“A sincere thanks to all the advocates and the members of Congress, including Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer, and members of the Disability Caucus, led by Congressman Langevin. Jim, thank you for your 22 years of service in Congress. And I know Reps. Debbie Dingell and Brian Fitzpatrick will follow your tremendous leadership in the Caucus,” President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said in his pre-recorded remarks. “We know there’s more that needs to be done, and I’m committed getting more done with you… Together, let’s keep fulfilling ADA’s promise: building a nation that truly is for all of us.”
“It was my privilege to join the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act – a transformative legislative achievement and a pillar of civil rights,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “Guided by Rep. Jim Langevin, the Congress’s support for the disability community has remained bipartisan and steadfast. Twelve years ago today, Rep. Langevin made history presiding over the House, making clear that every American deserves an equal voice in our society. Now, as he prepares for his next chapter, the Congress will proudly carry on his fight for justice – drawing strength from the leadership of Rep. Debbie Dingell and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, two devoted advocates for America’s disability community.”
“Without the ADA, I would not be in Congress. Today is a day to celebrate the tremendous progress that we’ve made for Americans with disabilities, while also recognizing how much further we have to go until all people with disabilities can enjoy fulfilling, independent lives,” Langevin continued. “Although this will be my last ADA anniversary celebration as a member of Congress, you can count on me to continue fighting for the disability community until my last day in office, and beyond. I want to thank President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, Senator Casey, Representatives Dingell and Fitzpatrick, Undersecretary of Transportation Monje, and Jim Brett and for joining me tonight in commemoration of such a special day.”
Reps. Langevin, Dingell, and Fitzpatrick were joined for a celebration of the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Senator Bob Casey, White House Domestic Policy Council Disability Policy Director, Day Al-Mohamed, former Senator Tom Harkin, and Vice-Chair of the National Council on Disability, Jim Brett.