WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) joined his colleagues Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and U.S. Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) in announcing the launch of the Congressional Down Syndrome Task Force for the 118th Congress. This bipartisan, bicameral group is dedicated to making certain the needs of the Down syndrome community are a priority in Washington, D.C.
The Congressional Task Force on Down Syndrome will serve as an informal group of members dedicated to increasing awareness about issues facing people with Down syndrome, their families and communities. This task force will also work toward a common goal of promoting legislative activities and public policies that will enhance the quality of life for those with Down syndrome.
“Through increased federal resources and great partners in the medical research field, Down syndrome research has improved significantly in recent years,” said Sen. Moran. “I am grateful to continue co-chairing the Down Syndrome Task Force to accelerate research on Down syndrome, including its connection to Alzheimer’s disease, and to promote policies that support individuals with Down syndrome and their families.”
“I’m proud to be a co-chair of the bipartisan Down Syndrome caucus and bring attention to the experiences and potential of people with disabilities,” said Sen. Casey. “From expanding ABLE Accounts so people with disabilities can save for the future to phasing out the practice of employers paying subminimum wage, we have made progress in our mission to knock down the barriers that people with Down syndrome face. As we convene this Caucus, I know we are all committed to improving the lives of people with Down syndrome by working hand in hand with the Down syndrome community.”
“My oldest son Cole was born with Down syndrome, and he is one of the greatest blessings in my life. Getting to see the world through Cole’s eyes has made me a better mom and a better legislator,” said Rep. Rodgers. “I’m reminded every day that the Down syndrome community is full of potential just waiting to be unleashed, which is why this task force is so important. Together, we can educate those around us and show the world that nobody is bound by the conditions of their birth.”
“I am excited to once again be co-chairing the Congressional Task Force on Down Syndrome for the 118th Congress,” said Rep. Norton. “Thanks to the hard work of the task force in 2014, President Obama signed the ABLE Act in the 114th Congress, which created tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. Down syndrome is a personal issue for me, and I am proud to be fighting for Americans with Down syndrome and their families as we begin a new legislative session.”
The task force is supported by three leading national Down syndrome advocacy organizations: the Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GLOBAL), the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) and the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).
“As three leading national Down syndrome organizations, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, the National Down Syndrome Congress, and the National Down Syndrome Society, we stand in strong support of this task force and applaud Congresswomen Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Eleanor Holmes Norton and Senators Robert Casey and Jerry Moran on their leadership,” said Michelle Sie Whitten of GLOBAL, Jordan Kough of NDSC and Kandi Pickard of NDSS. “The reintroduction of a bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Task Force on Down Syndrome signifies the 118th Congress’s commitment to increasing education and awareness of Down syndrome and advancing legislation that positively impacts the Down syndrome community.”