Shared by John Pare
Dear Fellow Federationists: Thank you for all of your calls and emails regarding the elimination of the increased standard deduction for blind people.
So, here is where we stand as of today (Wednesday, November 15). The House bill has gone to the House floor and will most likely be voted on and passed tomorrow, November 16. It eliminates the additional standard deduction for the blind. The Senate Committee on Finance is currently debating the Senate version of the bill. The Senate version does not modify the existing additional standard deduction for the blind. The next key step will be when the Senate bill goes to the floor of the Senate for a final vote. It is possible that Senator Boozman will be permitted to offer an amendment to include the Access Technology Affordability Act in the Senate’s version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This is what we have been hoping for since January. The number one thing we can do to help this effort is to add cosponsors to the Access Technology Affordability Act in the Senate (S. 732). There are currently three cosponsors on the bill, Senators Cardin and Van Hollen from Maryland and Senator Coons from Delaware. Therefore, please call or email your two senators and urge them to cosponsor S. 732, the Access Technology Affordability Act of 2017. The best way to contact your senators is to call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for the office in question. If you email your senators, please copy me at JPare@nfb.org.
In other news, we are expecting the Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education bill to be introduced in the Senate in the very near future. Also, I have received some questions regarding hotel reservations for Washington Seminar. The following information is published in the November 2017 issue of the Braille Monitor.
Washington Seminar will be held January 28 through February 1, 2018, with the Great Gathering-In taking place on Monday, January 29. You can now reserve a room at the Holiday Inn Capitol (550 C Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024) for Washington Seminar for check-in beginning Friday, January 26, and check-out Friday, February 2. The rate is $192.00 per night; this rate does not include DC sales tax, which is currently 14.8 percent. You may begin booking reservations directly online by clicking on the weblink below: http://ichotelsgroup.com/redirect?path=rates&brandCode=HI®ionCode=1&localeCode=en&GPC=FB8&hotelCode=WASSM&_PMID=99801505
You may also make reservations by calling (877) 572-6951 and referencing booking code FB8. Credit card information is needed at time of reservation. Individual cancellation policy requires notification seventy-two hours prior to date of arrival to avoid one night’s room plus tax cancellation charge on the credit card provided. If your departure date changes, you must inform the hotel seventy-two hours in advance of departure to avoid a $100 fee; call (877) 572-6951 and reference your confirmation number. Please obtain a cancellation number when cancelling a reservation. The firm deadline date to make a reservation is Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Reservation requests received after the deadline date will be subject to availability and prevailing rate.
John G. ParÃ© Jr.
Executive Director for Advocacy and Policy