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

Tell the House of Representatives: Say No to H.R. 803, Yes to Independent Living!

The House Republican version of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), also known as the “SKILLS Act” (H.R. 803), has been marked up by the House Committee on Education & the Workforce, and is scheduled for a vote on the House floor today. House Republicans moved this bad piece of legislation, which includes the reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, out of committee – much to the disgust of a few Democratic lawmakers who walked out of the hearing. This is a very dangerous development for CILs, SILCs, and Independent Living in America, as it will set our advocacy back by over a decade and preserve the unacceptable status quo for perhaps a decade more. This bill does literally nothing for Centers or SILCs, even though it is supposed to be the bill that updates how they operate, and is our rare opportunity to get Independent Living right in America. We must act now; we must fight the passage of this bill unless it updates the Independent Living section and includes an Independent Living Administration (ILA). 

Representatives Miller (R-CA) and Tierney (D-MA) reintroduced a bill to reauthorize WIA and the Rehab Act (H.R. 798), with included language establishing the ILA. NCIL has worked hard to get our own language put into this bill, and it will go a long way to advance Independent Living. We would like the SKILLS Act to include the language that NCIL wrote into H.R. 798. This legislation is extremely important, and the creators of the SKILLS Act have thus far ignored CILs, SILCs, and the concept of Independent Living altogether.

We need NCIL members to call their members of Congress and tell them that the SKILLS Act must include language updating CILs and SILCs, and that it must establish an Independent Living Administration. NCIL members should make no mistake: H.R. 803 does absolutely nothing for us. No effort was put into updating Independent Living provisions, and we want our members to let the House of Representatives know how unacceptable this is to our community and Americans with disabilities.

Contact your Congressperson.

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