House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers is slated to announce the creation of a bipartisan working group aimed at helping provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities Wednesday.
McMorris Rodgers of Washington — who has repeatedly worked across the aisle to advocate for disability rights, having raised a son with Down syndrome — argues current policies make it difficult for those with special needs to work and save money.
“Many people with disabilities have dreams of working and living successful, independent lives, but too often our laws and regulations create barriers to entry,” she said said in a statement. “Our bipartisan working group examines how we can change our system of laws and regulations so that people with disabilities, like my son, Cole, have the same opportunities as everyone else to work and have a better life.”
The Bipartisan House Working Group on Employing People with Disabilities currently consists of five members: House Democrat Caucus Chair Rep. Joe Crowley of New York, GOP Rep. Gregg Harper of Mississippi and Democratic Reps. James Clyburn of South Carolina and Rep. Tony Cárdenas of California.
Groups, including the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), praised the lawmakers’ efforts to come together on the issue.
“The announcement of this bipartisan effort is a step in the right direction to raise awareness of the amazing accomplishments of individuals with Down syndrome,” NDSS President and CEO Sara Hart Weir said in a statement, adding: “people with disabilities like Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations and be valued members of their communities.”
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