WASHINGTON – Two Republicans and two Democrats have kicked into high gear efforts to create a separate benefit for complex rehab by introducing bills in both the House of Representatives and Senate this session. Who are the men behind the bills?
Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., has represented the Bronx and Queens area in Congress since 1998. When he and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., reintroduced the separate benefit bill, H.R. 942, on March 6, Crowley said it was important for people to have access to the products and services they need to live an independent life.
“For people with disabilities or other medical conditions, complex rehabilitation technology products aren’t a luxury, they’re a necessity,” stated Crowley.
Sensenbrenner won his seat in 1978 and has been re-elected to represent Wisconsin ever since. His motivation for introducing the bill: He wants to ensure all Americans have full access to the tools they need to live life to the fullest.
“Disabled Americans should not be denied the benefits of proper rehabilitation or medical equipment that can provide them the opportunity to live and work freely and independently,” stated Sensenbrenner.
Sen. Charles “Chuck” Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed to sponsor S. 948, a companion bill to H.R. 942. It dropped May 16.
Schumer has been in public service for 30 years. He was elected to the Senate in 1998, and kicked off his first term by announcing he would visit each of New York’s 62 counties every year, a tradition he continues today.
Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., has also spent many years in public service. He was elected to the House for three terms, starting in 1972. He joined the Senate in 1978, becoming the first Republican in more than 100 years to win a statewide election in Mississippi. He’s now a senior Republican in the Senate.