Early in the morning of December 2, the Senate passed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act by a vote of 51-49. It is different than the bill passed by the House, so the House must now vote on the bill. Alternatively, the House and Senate can send members to a conference committee, who will produce a compromise bill, on which both the House and Senate will vote. See more on the differences from the Washington Post.
The bill has been opposed by many disability groups. The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities has outlined the Top 5 Reasons the Tax Cut and Jobs Act is Bad for People with Disabilities. The bill includes:
- Repeal of the Disabled Access Credit, that assists small businesses to improve their accessibility
- Repeal of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which incentivizes employers to hire people with disabilities
- Repeal of the Medical Expense Deduction, which offsets the cost of high out-of-pocket medical bills
- Repeal of the “Individual Mandate” for health insurance coverage, a key provision to ensuring that everyone has access to health coverage, including people with pre-existing conditions.
- Result in automatic cuts to Medicare, due to the fact that Congress did not offset the reduction in tax revenue
Several organizations, including The Arc, American Network of Community Options and Resources, and Autistic Self-Advocacy Network have developed resources to help advocates take action to stop the bill before it reaches the President’s desk. Advocates on Twitter are using #TaxOnDisability to organize around the issue.