Metavid

Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Jul 22nd, 2010 :: 1:17:05 to 1:44:25
Total video length: 13 hours 35 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

Note: MetaVid video transcripts may contain inaccuracies, help us build a more perfect archive

Download OptionsEmbed Video

Views:287 Duration: 0:27:20 Discussion

Previous speech: Next speech:

Tom Harkin

1:17:01 to 1:17:15( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: i thank senator harkin i yield back my time. i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

Tom Harkin

1:17:05 to 1:44:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Tom Harkin

Tom Harkin

1:17:29 to 1:17:49( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: quorum call: mr. harkin: madam president, i ask and a quarter proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: first let me thank the senator from ohio for his kind words but more than that, thank him for all of his help and his issues that deal with working

Tom Harkin

1:17:50 to 1:18:10( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: people of america, but especially now at this time people with disabilities. and i thank him for his service on the board for gallaudet university. it is a it's just -- i would hope that everybody could pay a visit to gallaudet. it's just one of our really crown jewels, i think, of our

Tom Harkin

1:18:11 to 1:18:31( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: government, and what we have done there, as senator brown said, it is the only place in the world where a student can go, get a liberal arts education, who is deaf. and quite frankly, as the senator knows, we do bring students from other countries over here who go to gallon get and then -- who go to gallaudet and then go back to their home

Tom Harkin

1:18:32 to 1:18:53( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: countries after graduating. but i thank the senator for his service on the board of gallaudet university. madam president, before senator brown spoke, i was talking a little bit about one of the unfulfilled promises of a.d.a., and that is independent living. the idea that people shouldn't

Tom Harkin

1:18:54 to 1:19:14( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: be forced to go into a nursing home just to get support so they can live. and i mentioned the olmstead decision of 10 years ago by the supreme court which basiccy said that -- which basiccy which basically said that mandating that people have to live in a nursing home to get support is discrimination under the a.d.a.

Tom Harkin

1:19:15 to 1:19:35( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: but ten years later it is still going on. now, some states have moved ahead in this regard and have provided the wherewithal to help people with disabilities to live independently. the problem is that most states still limit -- they limit people

Tom Harkin

1:19:36 to 1:19:56( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: with disabilities who can get this kind of assistance. they either do it through a waiver program or other exceptions. they include only certain particular types of disabilities. they haveost caps. or they just simply limit the number of individual whose can be served. so it kind of almost adds insult

Tom Harkin

1:19:57 to 1:20:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: to injury here. it's sort of like the luck of the draw, sort of like a lottery. if you fall into a certain group, if you happen to ha applied before they filled up their quota, you can live in the community and get support. if you didn't, you're out of luck. so thi all kind -- so this has built up

Tom Harkin

1:20:19 to 1:20:39( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: all kinds of tensions within the disability community and within the different groups of disabilities. because states sometimes identify by disability who can get support in a community and cannot. and so ever since the passage of a.d.a., i took the floor and said, now we've got the a.d.a. passed, the americans with

Tom Harkin

1:20:40 to 1:21:02( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: disabilities act. the next big hurd s&l to make sure -- the next big hurdle is to make sure two things -- people with live independently in the community and they can get the supportive services they need in order to do that and get employment. so we've been trying to do that for 16, 17 years now.

Tom Harkin

1:21:03 to 1:21:25( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: at first it was a bill called mivment ccassa. but it was a bill that would provide for people to be able to get the same support whether they lived in an institution or they lived in a community. well, we could never get at that bill passed.

Tom Harkin

1:21:26 to 1:21:46( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: c.b.o. gave it all these horrendous costs. i always thought that was spyreious, that the -- i tholes thought that that was spyreious, that the cost estimates were not right. then we followed up with the community choice act. we didn't get that and we -- but we did get aouple of programs in.

Tom Harkin

1:21:47 to 1:22:08( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: money follows the person and now in a recently passed health care bill, we saw our opportunity to do something. to help to try to fulfill the mandate of the supreme court, a constitutional mandate, that people should be able to live where they want to live.

Tom Harkin

1:22:09 to 1:22:33( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: so what we have now in the health care bill is we have expanded the money follows the person program. that's to give money to states to follow the person. rather than money going to a state to go to an institution to pay for a person, why not the money go to the state to go to the person and let the person decide where he or she wants to live. so that was one.

Tom Harkin

1:22:34 to 1:22:54( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: that's been extended to 2016. that's in the health care bill. the other part of this -- of making sure people can live independently and can have economic self-sufficiency is personal attendant services, and again right after the passage of

Tom Harkin

1:22:55 to 1:23:15( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the a.d.a., i spoke about that and i said, you know, you can have all the wonderful accessibilities in your job, you can have transit systems and buses that will take you to your job and back, or subways, or whatever. and you can have the most

Tom Harkin

1:23:16 to 1:23:37( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: enlightened employer, can provide accessible work spaces, but what if you can't even get out the door in the morning? what if you can't even get from your bed to the door to get to work? and herein again i speak of my own family.

Tom Harkin

1:23:38 to 1:24:00( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: my nephew kelley was only 19, about 20 years old when he was severely injured, became almost a quad dry plea jirks severe paraplegic. well, a big scrapping kid. and kelly again was not going to give up.

Tom Harkin

1:24:01 to 1:24:21( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and so he went back to school, got his education, and then he wanted to live by himself. and he did. he lived at nomer a while with my sister and -- he lived at home for a while with my sister and her husband but then he wanted to strike out on his own. so he got his own independent place to live.

Tom Harkin

1:24:22 to 1:24:42( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: here's what happened. to my nephew kelly. every morning he'd have a nurse -- he by himself. nurse came birks got him out of bed.

Tom Harkin

1:24:43 to 1:25:04( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: took care of certain functions, got him ready to go. kelly would make his own breakfast, roll his wheelchair out, had a lift on his van, fted him up, put him in the van, drive to work. he became so independent he started his own small business. then at night when he would come home, a lot of times he would

Tom Harkin

1:25:05 to 1:25:27( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: stop, shop in a grocery store, ghet his van, come every night he would have a personal attendant who would come into his house and do his exercises. he was so determined to keep his muscle activity alive, so he'd have a person come in to do autumn of his exercises. put him through his routine every day, put him to bed.

Tom Harkin

1:25:28 to 1:25:49( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: this happened every day. but it enabled him to get out the door and go to work. to become a tax-paying, income-earning citizen. so how was he able to afford this? was my sister and her husband wealthy? not at all. had no money whatsoever.

Tom Harkin

1:25:50 to 1:26:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: well, how was kelly able to afford someone to come in every day and take care of him like that and give him these personal attendant services? he was able to afford it because he was injured in the military. he was injured while serving on an aircraft carrier.

Tom Harkin

1:26:13 to 1:26:34( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and so the v.a., thank the v.a., the v.a. paid for this. and they paid to have his home modified so he could -- he could live by himself. and now for 30 years the veterans administration have paid for chill to

Tom Harkin

1:26:35 to 1:26:55( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: attendant -- have paid to have personal attendant services so he can go to work, earn a living, pay taxes. what about people that weren't injured in the military? what about people that just got injured in an accident born with a disability?

Tom Harkin

1:26:56 to 1:27:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: who don't have the v.a. to pay nor, the veterans administration to pay for this. well, they're out of luck. they're just out of luck. so the may want to get a job. they can be very capable of doing a job. they can be well-educated. know how to run microsoft and

Tom Harkin

1:27:19 to 1:27:41( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: word and all that sort of stuff. they may be qualified for a job, but if they don't have some support during the day to get out the door, how are they going to get down to the bus stop to get on the accessible bus to go to a place of business that is accessible, that has an employer that has made the workplace accessible, so they can have a

Tom Harkin

1:27:42 to 1:28:06( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: job? very shortsighted, very shortsighted to sayhat, no, we'll do all of these other things but if you can't get out the door in the morning, tough luck. or if you need something in the day -- maybe you need someone to come in during the middle of the day to help you with some --

Tom Harkin

1:28:07 to 1:28:28( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: suggest may need, whether et it's its eating or groom being or toilet activities, whatever it might be, maybe you need that once or twice during the day just so you can work. you don't have that. that's our next big challenge. that's our next big challenge. to help with these everyday tasks that most people take for granted.

Tom Harkin

1:28:29 to 1:28:49( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: it makes the crucial difference between whether a person can live an independent, inclusive life in the community or they have to be sent to a nursing home to live in isolation. so when people tell me that this costs a lot of moneyi say, wait a second.

Tom Harkin

1:28:50 to 1:29:13( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: wait a second. let's have this again. it costs a lot of money? what about all these people that are in nursing homes now that could be living by themselves? what about all those people that are living by themselves now by ar't getting any support, but they're not working? they want to work, they're capable of working.

Tom Harkin

1:29:14 to 1:29:34( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: what if they go to work and become taxpayers, income earners? that's not taken into account, you see. only the outlay is taken into account. that's why i've always said that the costs that we see of personal attendant services are skewed, because we don't take into account the other side of

Tom Harkin

1:29:35 to 1:29:55( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the ledger. but we know, we know from personal experience, that people with disabilities, as i've said, can be the most productive, hardest workers in our society. if they're just given the chance.

Tom Harkin

1:29:56 to 1:30:17( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: again, these services, these supports allow them to fulfill the promise of the a.d.a. -- to have jobs, participate in the community, to make their own choices, not having the state or the government or somebody else tell them how they have to live.

Tom Harkin

1:30:18 to 1:30:38( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: let people make their own choices. let them govern their own lives. that's why the community first choice option that's in the health care bill i importan so we're starting to move in that direction, should have done it a long time ago but we couldn't, but we got it in the health care bill.

Tom Harkin

1:30:39 to 1:31:01( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: so beginning october of next year, 20111, in the health care reform bill that we passed here, that we will have available to states that if a state selects and chooses to implement the olmstead decision and to support people with disabilities to live

Tom Harkin

1:31:02 to 1:31:22( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: in the community on their own, they will get a bump-up in their federal matching funds. specifically, the community first choice option that's in the health care bill will cover the provision of personal care

Tom Harkin

1:31:23 to 1:31:43( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: services and will also help support people who live independently. but personal care services so that people can live independently. for the first time, for the first time in the health care reform bill we passed, the community first choice option will require -- require -- a

Tom Harkin

1:31:44 to 1:32:05( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: state to provide all individuals with personal care services rather than just serving a small proportion. as i said earlier, maybe just ce people with certain disabilities or waiting lists or caps on costs. this bill will require a state

Tom Harkin

1:32:06 to 1:32:26( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: to provide all eligible individuals with personal services rather than serving this small slices now or keeping long and slow-moving waiting lists. somebody people get on these waiting lists, they wait 10, 15 years before the state comes up with the money so they can live

Tom Harkin

1:32:27 to 1:32:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: on their own and have personal care services. now, i will say that -- that this community first choice option is one that starts next year but it's going to grow every year. and a state that moves in that direction will get a bump-up of 6% in their federal matching funds. that's a big deal. so a state that wants to do this

Tom Harkin

1:32:48 to 1:33:09( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: says okay, if we do it, we're going to get more money for the fmap program, for federal matching funds that will come to a state. without getting into details, basically what that means is the state's going to get more federal money if they provide for the independent living of people with disabilities in

Tom Harkin

1:33:10 to 1:33:30( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: their state. so we've m progress in increasing home and community-based options, the big step income this healt health care bill as it unfolds. but we're still a long way from having a comprehensive and equitable stem for providing personal care services to all

Tom Harkin

1:33:31 to 1:33:51( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: americans who are eligible for nursing home care. lastly, let me tell you -- let's talk a little bit about the issue of employment. perhaps my biggest disappointment in the 20 years since a.d.a., the biggest disappointment has been in employment.

Tom Harkin

1:33:52 to 1:34:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: data, surveys show that rig now 60% or more of people with disabilities who want to work, are able to work are unemployed. 60%. you know, we hear about all the unemployment figures around here all the time. we hear about 9% unemployment or 18% unemployment, which are the real figures. think about people in the

Tom Harkin

1:34:13 to 1:34:33( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: disability community. 60% unemployment. this is shameful. shameful. in our society today, this many years after the a.d.a. was passed, ten years after the olmstead decision. now, there are a variety of reasons for this.

Tom Harkin

1:34:34 to 1:34:55( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: again, one of the biggest is the lack of support services some employers don't provide enough reasonable accommodations. some people are just reluctant to hire people with disabilities. that kind of subtle discrimination still goes on.

Tom Harkin

1:34:56 to 1:35:19( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: reasonable accommodations, in the provide reasonable accommodations. boy, i remember so many stories and the unfold -- in the unfolding after we passed a.d.a., i remember the story of one woman who had a lot of -- had a big skill-set in terms of what was then computers.

Tom Harkin

1:35:20 to 1:35:41( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: 19 -- early 1990's. and she had a great skill-net is that so she had answered an ad for employment. went down and interviewed. she clearly qlified, but because the job required her to work at different stations, diffent desks said, gee, i can't -- i can't --

Tom Harkin

1:35:42 to 1:36:04( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: i can't do that because she used a wheelchair, she was -- had been bornith a disability and she couldn't get under the desks because of the height of the wheelchair. she couldn't get desks. and the employer said, gee, i got to replace all these desks and that costs a lot of money. that's not a reasonable

Tom Harkin

1:36:05 to 1:36:25( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: accommodation. so she went home, told her father this. her father, who was a reasonable carpenter, i guess, had a bright idea. went down t cut a bunch of wood blocks about three inches high, cut them all off. he took them down to the

Tom Harkin

1:36:26 to 1:36:46( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: employer and said, you know, if you just put one of these under every leg of the desk, it won't cost you very much. and then it will be accessible simple things like that. just simple little things like that. i remember the story of a school school, the school board was

Tom Harkin

1:36:47 to 1:37:08( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: very upset because they had to make the drinking fountains available. now, we had kids in school with disabilities in wheelchairs and lower all the drinking fountains or something, it costs a lot of money. so someone pointed out if you just put a waste basket and a

Tom Harkin

1:37:09 to 1:37:31( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: paper cup dispenser by the water fountain, you solve the problem. simple things like that that don't cost much money at all. took awhile for people to start thinking about it. you know, how do we d things in a very simple, straightforward manner so that people can either go to school or work and we can make these reasonable

Tom Harkin

1:37:32 to 1:37:52( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: accommodations. well, i -- again, i say, as i said earlier, employers i talked to who have employees with disabilities, theyay they're the most exemplary of workers. all they need is an opportunity an reasonable accommodations, maybe supportive services yet we just haven't made as much progress as'd hoped over the

Tom Harkin

1:37:53 to 1:38:13( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: last 20 years. we need to do a better job in ensuring that people with disabilities have job opportunities, not just any job but one that is equal to their interest and their talents and pays accordingly. we need to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to the traing and supports

Tom Harkin

1:38:14 to 1:38:34( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: necessary to be successful. well, so many times i've heard, well, i -- i don't have a job in the disability area for a person with a disability. not what we're asking for. a lot of people think, well, people with disabilities just got to work on disability issues or disability -- no, that's not it at all. i always talk about my brother

Tom Harkin

1:38:35 to 1:38:55( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: frank. he didn't do a job that had anything to do with being disabled but he a talent and he could do something else. as i said, it's time to quit looking at people and focusing on theisability. look at people and focus on their abilities. what are you capable of doing,

Tom Harkin

1:38:56 to 1:39:16( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: what are your talents, what can you do? don't talk to me about the disabilities. heck, we can overcome tha we can overcome that. what are your talents, what are your abilities? and that's why we need the training and t support activities, so we can bring that shameful, shameful unemployment

Tom Harkin

1:39:17 to 1:39:39( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: rate of 60% down. well, madam president, i said earlier the a.d.a. is to people with disabilities -- is to people with disabilities what the emancipation proclamation was to african-americans. but one of the great shames of american history is that it was more than a century after the

Tom Harkin

1:39:40 to 1:40:00( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: emancipation proclamation that the civil rights act actually made good on lincoln'sromise. a century. well, that's too far, too long to wait. so i can't think of a better way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a.d.a. than by rededicating ourselves

Tom Harkin

1:40:01 to 1:40:22( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: completing the promise of the americans with disabilities act. this means giving people with disabilities not just the right to be indepennt or the right to have a job but the wherewithal to be independent and to hold a job. again, i don't want to forget all the progress and all the accomplishments we've achieved

Tom Harkin

1:40:23 to 1:40:44( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: over the last 20 years. wonderful, monumental. but to activists and advocates of the disability community who are out there in the states and o are here in our nation's capital, i salute you, i thank you for all the progress that you've worked so hard to bring about through your dedication and your tireless efforts. on this day, on monday, you can

Tom Harkin

1:40:45 to 1:41:05( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: be proud of the great things you've accomplished. but we all know, we all know there's much more work to be done. madam president, i said earlier en i spoke on the floor 20

Tom Harkin

1:41:06 to 1:41:28( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: years ago, i did it all in sign language. well, i've neglected to d so today. i think since my brother passed on, i don't speak with sn language very often. i don't practice much anymore, and i -- i've forgotten many signs.

Tom Harkin

1:41:29 to 1:41:51( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: but there is one final thought i have. in american sign language, there's a wonderful sign for "america." i'm going to teach it to you. all these pages and everybody, i'm going to teach it to you. there's a wonderful, wonderful sign for "america." you put your fingers together just like ts, you kind of make

Tom Harkin

1:41:52 to 1:42:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: an "a" for "america," and it goes around like that's the sign for "america." think about it. not separated -- everyone together. every onone together. one family. no one's excluded. no one's here, no one's there,

Tom Harkin

1:42:13 to 1:42:34( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we're all together. and we're in a circle, the circle of life. a beautiful sign for "america." so that's what i think about when i think about the americans with disabilities what it is, it brought people into the circle, it made

Tom Harkin

1:42:35 to 1:42:55( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: everybody a part of our family made our family much more complete. that's the historic achievement we celebrate in this senate resolution we have before us today. it's the historic achievement that we must safeguard for generations to come. one america. one inclusive american family

Tom Harkin

1:42:56 to 1:43:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: that respects the dignity, the value, and the civil rights of all, including americans with disabilities. when he signed the a.d.a. into law, president bush spoke with great eloquence. just before taking up his pen, he said -- quo -- "let the ameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down."

Tom Harkin

1:43:19 to 1:43:41( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: well, 20 years later, that wall is, indeed, falling. the a.d.a. has broken down barriers, created opportunities, transformed lives. this great law is america at its very best. so it's fitting for the senate to commorate its great achievement of 20 years ago in

Tom Harkin

1:43:42 to 1:44:03( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: passing the a.d.a. on an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 91-6. so i urge all my colleagues to join with the many bipartisan cosponsors in voting for this senate resolution. madam president, i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum.

Tom Harkin

1:44:04 to 1:44:09( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the presiding officer: the c

Personal tools

MetaVid is a non-profit project of UC Santa Cruz and the Sunlight Foundation. Learn more About MetaVid

The C-SPAN logo and other servicemarks that may be found in video content are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Metavid