February 20, 2018

Late last week, the House of Representatives took up H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act. After debate and consideration of six amendments, four amendments were approved, none of which substantively change the effect of the bill. When the House voted on the bill, it passed 225-192. 213 Republicans and 12 Democrats voted “yea,” while 19 Republicans and 173 Democrats voted “nay.” Overall, the vote was closer than expected, but we remain disappointed that the House of Representatives chose to advance a bill that makes it harder for Americans with disabilities to exercise their right to full independent enjoyment of public life.

With the support of more than five hundred organizations and tens of thousands of individuals, the disability community fought hard to encourage members of the House of Representatives to vote against H.R. 620. While our efforts did not succeed in stopping the bill in its tracks, we are pleased that more members voted against the bill than originally expected. Moreover, several Senators, including Senators Casey, Hassan, Duckworth, and Murray, have already expressed their opposition to any bill that weakens the ADA. These successes amplify our belief that, as our attention turns to the Senate, there is still a chance to defeat this bill.

While we do not yet know when the Senate will consider the amended bill, the House’s passage of H.R. 620 makes your advocacy even more important! You still have the opportunity to convince your Senators that the ADA is a vital law that protects the rights of individuals with disabilities. In the next few weeks, tell your Senators and their staff that businesses have had 27 years to comply with the law and that any so-called frivolous lawsuits can be and have been dealt with directly by the courts. Tell them to oppose H.R. 620.

To contact your Senators:

  • Find the names and contact of your Senators at https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact
  • Call the Senate office and tell the staff person who answers the phone that you want your Senator to oppose consideration of HR 620 in the Senate.

For further information, contact: Sarah Malaier Coordinator, Programs and Policy smalaier@afb.net 202-469-6831