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The Arc Responds to House of Representatives Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – Services and Supports for People With Disabilities at Risk

Washington, DC – The Arc released the following statement in response to House passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“Once again the House of Representatives has taken a dangerous step towards cutting the services and supports that people with disabilities rely on to be a part of their community. This year we’ve endured ongoing Congressional attacks on critical programs for people with disabilities. And now, thanks to the enormous revenue losses created by this bill, we will prepare to protect critical programs like Medicaid which will likely be on the chopping block in 2018.

“This version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is the result of a conference between the Senate and House of Representatives, was only released publicly on Friday evening. With the Senate rushing to vote on this bill less than 24 hours after the House passage, it seems that Congress is trying to hide something from the American public.

“This bill is the latest attack from Congress on the health and wellbeing of their constituents with disabilities. Now we turn to the Senate, our last line of defense. We implore Senators to do the right thing and oppose this bill. We continue to encourage disability advocates across the country to reach out to their Senators to voice their concern about this bill, but emphasize that time is of the essence. The disability community has fought against threats to vital programs and won several times this year, and we are not backing down when it comes to irresponsible tax policy like this,” said Peter Berns, CEO, The Arc.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, ignores concerns that constituents with disabilities across the country have been raising to their Members of Congress for weeks. The Arc’s longstanding position on tax policy is that it should raise sufficient revenues to finance essential programs that help people with disabilities to live and work in the community. The Arc also supports tax policy that is fair and reduces income inequality as people with disabilities are twice as likely to experience poverty. This legislation fails to meet either standard.

Additionally, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate will result in 13 million fewer Americans with health coverage, including those with disabilities, and will increase premiums for people buying insurance on the health insurance exchange.

About The Arc

The Arc advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of more than 665 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with IDD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.