Development of a Legislative Agenda
The foundation for the legislative agenda for the 112th Congress is built on our mission statements, principles, core values, position statements, and current policies and on input from volunteers, members, and professionals from across the country. We have taken into consideration expected proposals from the White House and Congress, as well as the laws that need reauthorization in the 112th Congress. We will also deal with unexpected issues as they arise.
For the 112th Congress, we present two tiers of priorities for our programmatic legislative agenda. The tiers are “critical agenda” and “priority agenda.” The rationale for the tiered scheme is contained in the programmatic goals section of this document. We will address any and all of these goals as issues relating to them arise.
Federal Fiscal Policy Agenda
Budget, Entitlements, and Appropriations
The combination of these three major fiscal actions determines the actual funding for all disability benefits, programs and services for the year.
The 112th Congress must:
- Strengthen, not weaken, vital entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, TANF, and food stamps;
- Oppose any process which prevents Members of Congress from exercising their legislative responsibilities to carefully consider and vote on legislative changes;
- Address the significant unmet needs of people with disabilities and their families by expanding the federal government’s investment in people with disabilities to enable them to live and work as independently as possible in the community with appropriate and flexible long term individual and family supports;
- Ensure that eligibility for services and benefits is not restricted and that the level of services and benefits for entitlement programs (such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security) is not reduced or limited solely to achieve budget cuts;
- Ensure that the current economic crisis does not severely impact our constituents by extending the temporary increase to the federal share of Medicaid spending; and
- Remove the Social Security Administration’s administrative budget from any budget cap requirements for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
Revenue and Tax Policy
The 112th Congress must:
- Address the unmet needs of people with disabilities and their families before making further tax cuts or reforming tax policy in a way that negatively impacts low wage earners and other vulnerable people;
- Assure that tax policies represent a sound investment and will not jeopardize the long term stability of people with disabilities and their families;
- Protect low income tax payers from paying higher taxes;
- Enable people with disabilities to be independent and productive;
- Protect and enhance, not erode, services and benefits for people with disabilities;
- Protect the Social Security trust funds for use by current and future beneficiaries;
- Raise sufficient revenues to balance the annual budget and finance the federal government’s role in providing essential supports, services, and benefits for people with disabilities and their families;
- Roll back or repeal tax cuts and adjust other tax policies that increase the federal deficit or put existing disability programs at risk;
- Avoid creating impediments to the states’ ability to raise sufficient revenue to meet human needs; and
- Assure the continuing ability of non-governmental entities to support people with disabilities and their families
UCP has a long history of partnering with other disability rights organizations to amplify our collective voice in support of people with a spectrum of disabilities. Read more about our combined work in the 112th Congress here.