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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Statements On Introduced Bills And Joint Resolutions August 5, 2015
Dan Sullivan, R-AK
"Regulations across the country, from Alaska to Maine, are hurting businesses, are hurting the economy, and are hurting our citizens, especially the most vulnerable. Again, this is not a partisan issue. Almost all of us on both sides of the aisle agree that we need to cut redtape. Even President Obama’s own Small Business Administration puts the number—the annual cost of regulations that grow every year—at $1.7 trillion per year. It is almost $1.8 trillion per year. If that were the economy, that would be one of the largest economies in the world. That is a staggering number, and they are growing. Regulatory costs amount to an average of almost $15,000 per household. It is around 29 percent of an average family budget of $51,000. People are noticing, not only in this country but globally."
Honoring Ada’S Legacy, Building For Its Future July 28, 2015
Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
"The history of public transportation is the story of American progress. Over decades of technological and social change, our industry has helped open frontiers, grow local economies, and improve the lives of millions. This month’s silver anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a reminder of how mobility can change attitudes and break down barriers, both real and perceived. When Congress in 1990 guaranteed equal opportunity for persons with disabilities, seminal changes were already writing the prelude for a new century focused on freedom and equity. It was the year that Nelson Mandela was released from a South African prison. East and West Germany were united. Tim Berners-Lee gave us the World Wide Web. None of us could have foreseen what would emerge 25 years later, but we knew ADA would change the way our nation and our industry thought about access to public transportation. It’s been said that without struggle there can be no progress, and the early days of implementing this new law were challenging. The country had just entered a recession and many cash-strapped public transit agencies were politically and fiscally encumbered. As a young general manager in Hamilton, Ohio, at the time, a dearth of resources for ADA compliance forced me to think differently about what equal access could mean for our community. We established a system-wide point deviation plan and introduced braille and tactile bus stop signs—both firsts in the nation that became models for other public transit organizations. The experience marked the beginning of a new personal passion to provide equal access to all. To design practical solutions, we needed to gain a true understanding of the difficulties faced by persons with disabilities. While sitting in wheelchairs, our drivers, supervisors and I learned firsthand what it was like to navigate high floor buses and ride when incorrectly secured in a paratransit vehicle. We donned blackened goggles to experience a bus trip without visual clues to our location, and we discovered that ADA-mandated curb cuts didn’t necessarily mean a sidewalk would take us to a desired destination once we left the bus. All of this helped us become better problem solvers, better thought leaders and better citizens. Today the public transportation sector can take pride in how far we have come. Aspiration has replaced apprehension. From 1993 to 2013, the portion of accessible buses nearly doubled (from 51 percent to 99.8 percent), accessible light rail and streetcar fleets more than doubled (from 41 percent to 88 percent) and accessible commuter and hybrid rail fleets almost tripled (from 32 percent to 87 percent). Additionally, all of America’s heavy rail and trolleybus fleets are 100 percent ADA compliant. Such advances in fixed route access have allowed tens of millions of people with disabilities to participate more fully in their communities. For individuals who are unable to use these modes of public transit, our systems provided more than 230 million demand- response trips in 2013—from a starting point of 68 million in 1990, the year ADA was enacted. The achievements of the past quarter century should encourage us to address any remaining challenges. Our industry must continue to build productive partnerships with the ADA community. Both physical and financial barriers persist for some legacy rail systems. And we need to find new, more cost-efficient ways to reach more people, especially through our fixed-route services. In this 25th-anniversary year, there is good reason to be enthusiastic. Unlike 1990, today’s technological innovations appear almost monthly, offering fresh ways to increase access and choice while reducing fear and complexity for new riders. Still, an industry is made great not just by its newest machines, but by how it lives its values and meets its customers’ greatest needs. Our work is about more than getting people to and from a workplace or doctor’s office; it’s about giving everyone the freedom, independence, and access to achieve their greatest potential. ADA has taught our industry that progress is impossible without change. Our commitment to fulfilling the law’s spirit has become a core tenet of who we are and what we do. Like so many of the people whose stories are told—and who are pictured—in this special publication, I am proud to have played a role in ADA’s foundational years. Thanks to ADA and the efforts of public transportation leaders, we move closer every day to a world with equal access for everyone, everywhere and at all times. It’s a legacy that deserves to be celebrated."
Celebrating The Career Of Brian Silas July 23, 2015
Brian Higgins, D-NY
Safe And Accurate Food Labeling Act Of 2015 July 23, 2015
Rod Blum, R-IA
"(a) Study.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall jointly submit to Congress a report evaluating the progress made in the implementation of subtitle F of the Plant Protection Act, as added by section 111. Such report shall include— (1) an analysis of plants over which regulatory oversight under such subtitle is required; (2) an analysis of the extent to which the provisions of such subtitle establish an appropriate scope of regulatory oversight for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Food and Drug Administration, including their oversight of public research programs; and (3) any potential changes to the Plant Protection Act that would better facilitate implementation of a coordinated, predictable, and efficient science-based regulatory process. (b) Coordination With Other Efforts To Modernize Regulation.—The report under subsection (a) shall be prepared, to the greatest extent practicable, in accordance with the process described in the memorandum issued by the Executive Office of the President on July 2, 2015, entitled “Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products”, including the directive specified in such memorandum to update the “Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology” published by the Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy, in the Federal Register on June 26, 1986 (51 Fed.Reg. "
Honoring The Life Of Robert Eugene Bartels July 22, 2015
Jackie Walorski, R-IN
"At 51, he became an employee of the supermarket and served as president and CEO beginning in 1973, and as chairman beginning in 2005."

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