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With Congress coming back into session last week we wanted to provide an H.R. 4378 Update

Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 07:09 AM  posted by jbuytaert

House Co-Sponsors

We are up to 32!  At the bottom of this email (and attached) is the current list of Members who have signed on by State.  As you see, we have bipartisan support and representation from the key committees.  Is your Member on the list?  Of particular note are the two most recent sign-ons: Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA) and Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN).  Congresswoman McMorris-Rodgers serves on the Energy & Commerce Committee and is the Republican Co-Chair of House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus.  Congresswoman Black serves on the Ways & Means Committee and had a career as a nurse prior to getting elected to Congress. 

It’s helpful  to review what caused these key Members to sign on. 

We have been working with their offices for several months educating them on CRT issues and why they needed to support our bill.  The type and location of the “education” took many forms.  CRT Supplier Don Whitney of Inland Medical met in person with Congresswoman McMorris-Rodgers in her home district to educate her on CRT and the benefits of H.R. 4378.  Darren Jernigan of Permobil and Tom Strickland of National Seating & Mobility joined the meeting with Congresswoman Black in her Washington D.C. office and Permobil got her to take a tour of their facility to learn first-hand about CRT and how it helps people.  These meetings were supplemented with the exchange of multiple emails and supporting documents with Congressional staff to give them the information they needed to recommend their “boss” sign on.  It’s great to see the investment of time pay off. 

We know other groups and individuals are currently engaged in similar activities.  Please continue the pursuit.  As you know, results do not come from a one-time conversation.  Persistence and ongoing follow-up is key.  

Dear Colleague Letter

Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY), the lead sponsor of H.R. 4378, sent out a letter to all House members last week encouraging them to sign on.  See the attached letter.  The timing was good as Congress was just returning from the August recess.  More on how to use this letter below.

House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus

We are very happy to have several members of the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus signed on, particularly now that we have both the Republican Co-Chair, Congresswoman McMorris-Rodgers, and the Democrat Co-Chair, Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) on board.  We have met with their staff and they have agreed to send a letter to all Disabilities Caucus members asking them to sign on to H.R. 4378.  These offices will also be helpful in other future activities.

Senate Companion Bill

We are continuing to seek a member of the Senate to introduce a companion bill for H.R. 4378.   As you speak with your Senators, that is your request.  If they cannot do it themselves, then ask them if they can reach out to a colleague on the Senate Finance Committee to take the lead.

What You Need To Be Doing

As we said at the start of our legislative journey, it will be a long road but every step forward will get us closer to our destination.  We are making good deliberative progress and want to continue to keep the momentum building.  Remember EVERY conversation and email you have with a Member of Congress is helping to create a better awareness of CRT and potential support for H.R. 4378.  We need to look at Members of Congress in two categories: those that have already signed on and those that just need more time and education to see the light!

If your Member has not signed on, send an email attaching the Dear Colleague letter and Co-Sponsor List.  Tell them you wanted to update them on our progress and restate your request to sign on to our Bill.  It’s new information that gives you a fresh opportunity to have a discussion and make your request.  There’s no better time than Election time to be asking for support!

 For more H.R. 4378 information and resources visit www.access2crt.org.

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