I am a staunch advocate for people with disabilities. I believe that America has major strides to make to become more inclusive for people with disabilities, and that Congress has a duty to move forward in this mission.
During my time in the State Senate, I passed legislation that closed a loophole and extended parental support for severely disabled and special-needs children over age eighteen, giving relief to single parents. I also created a law that stemmed the school-to-prison pipeline, which disproportionately impacts children with disabilities, by implementing alternatives to suspension. I fought for increased funding for Intellectual Disabilities (ID)/Developmental Disability (DD), waiver slots to shrink waiting lists, and proudly supported the passage of Medicaid expansion in Virginia to cover our most vulnerable Virginians.
In Congress, I have been a strong defender of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. I am dedicated to expanding educational and employment opportunities for people with disabilities and protecting funding for Medicaid and other affordable health care programs.
I have made protecting children and students with disabilities a top priority. I successfully added language to the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act calling attention to the negative impact short-term and junk plans have on children with complex medical needs. I have been fighting for access to education by supporting the IDEA Full Funding Act, which would fulfill the promise of the IDEA by gradually increasing IDEA spending to cover 40 percent of the average per pupil cost of special education. Through my role on the House Appropriations Committee, I have successfully increased funding for Special Education. Finally, I authored legislation to double the federal floor of the Personal Needs Allowance and align its value with today’s economic realities to support disabled Americans.