President BidenJoe BidenHow 'Buy American', other pro-US policies can help advocates pass ambitious climate policies Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Photos of the Week: Manchin protestor, Paris Hilton and a mirror room MORE on Monday celebrated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a sweeping civil rights law, and announced a new program to help Americans experiencing long-term COVID-19 symptoms and conditions.
“For our nation, the ADA is more than a law as well, it’s a testament to our character as a people, our character as Americans,” Biden said in the Rose Garden.
Biden, as a senator, was a co-sponsor of the legislation, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in various settings, including places of employment, schools, community living and transportation.
“31 years ago after its passage, many Americans have never lived in a world without the ADA,” Biden said.
“We passed the ADA and made a commitment to building a nation for all of us, all of us,” Biden added. “Perhaps most importantly, we did it together. This was a Democratic bill signed by a Republican president.”
Then-President George H.W. Bush signed the federal civil rights act into law in 1990. Biden said he had just gotten off the phone with former Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinFCC needs to help services for the deaf catch up to videoconferencing tech Biden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Ex-Rep. Abby Finkenauer running for Senate in Iowa MORE (D-Iowa) and spoke to former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.), days prior. Both former senators spearheaded the legislation at the time.
“Today, too many Americans still face barriers,” Biden said, noting that on his first day in office he signed an executive order to establish a government-wide commitment to advancing equity, including for those with disabilities.
He announced on Monday a new effort for Americans with long-term COVID-19 impacts, so symptoms of “long COVID-19” could qualify as a disability under the ADA.
The guidance does not automatically qualify long COVID-19 as a disability but people experiencing long-term symptoms or conditions can get an “individualized assessment” to determine the condition “substantially limits a major life activity.”
The Department of Health and Human Services also released a guide on Monday about services provided by community-based organizations to help individuals experiencing long-term symptoms after contracting COVID-19.
“We made important progress but we will have work to do,” Biden said, calling for Congress to eliminate the “discriminatory” sub-minimum wage provision.
Biden then signed a proclamation recognizing the 31st anniversary of the bill being signed into law. He called those dealing with disabilities an “inspiration.”
Vice President Harris, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJudge to hear Trump's case against Jan. 6 committee in November Kamala Harris engages with heckler during New York speech GOP lawmaker calls for Meghan, Harry to lose royal titles over paid leave push MORE (D-Calif.), House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerPelosi: Democrats within striking distance of deal Powerful Democrats push back on one-year extension of child tax credit The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Democrats optimistic after Biden meetings MORE (D-Md.), former Rep. Tony Coelho (D-Calif.), and Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised On The Money — Democrats tee up Senate spending battles with GOP MORE (D-Vt.) were on the stage with Biden during the proclamation signing.
“Pat, you were there at the time. Get your rear end up here,” Biden said to Leahy before the signing.
Biden was also joined by Maryland artist Tyree Brown, who introduced the president before his remarks.
Harris spoke earlier at the event and called the ADA a very important beginning, but said there is more work to be done.
“The ADA gives all Americans the opportunity to determine their own future. Self-determination, which I believe the government must facilitate, that is the impact of the ADA and after all, the promise of America,” she said.
“The president and I will continue to fight with you to make America more accessible to all people,” she added.
Second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations — Global supply chain bottleneck worries for U.S. economy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Biden: We will fix nation's problems The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - New front in mandate wars; debt bill heads to Biden MORE was also in attendance, as well as Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents Manchin, Sanders to seek deal on Biden agenda Democrats struggle to gain steam on Biden spending plan MORE (D-Pa.), Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeToomey takes aim at Schumer's spending windfall for NYC public housing Powell death leads to bipartisan outpouring of grief Ethics watchdog accuses Psaki of violating Hatch Act MORE, Education Secretary Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaPresident, first lady honor teachers at White House awards ceremony Ilhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' Florida Board of Education approves sanctions on eight school districts over coronavirus mandates MORE, Rep. Jim LangevinJames (Jim) R. LangevinHillicon Valley — Presented by American Edge Project — Americans blame politicians, social media for spread of misinformation: poll Democrats urge federal agencies to address use of cryptocurrencies for ransomware payments Biden signs bill to strengthen K-12 school cybersecurity MORE (D-R.I.) and Rep. Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottPandemic leads to sharp drop in school enrollment Democratic retirements could make a tough midterm year even worse Watchdog: 7 members of Congress allegedly failed to disclose stock trades MORE (D-Va.).