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Sen. Moran Named Chairman of New Congressional Down Syndrome Task Force

Congressman Kevin Yoder also joined bipartisan, bicameral group focused on increasing awareness about issues facing the Down syndrome community

MANHATTAN, KAN. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) has been named U.S. Senate co-chairman of the new Congressional Down Syndrome Task Force – a bipartisan, bicameral group dedicated to making certain the needs of the Down syndrome community are a priority on Capitol Hill. Sen. Moran will work with co-chair Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) and his counterparts in the U.S. House of Representatives – including U.S. Representative Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) who is also a member of the Task Force – to increase awareness about issues facing people with Down syndrome, their families and communities.

“Every person should have the opportunity to experience a full and satisfying life – to live, learn, work and pursue the American Dream,” Sen. Moran said. “Expanding the Congressional Down Syndrome Task Force to the Senate will increase our ability to build awareness of the issues important to those individuals with Down syndrome and their families, such as medical care, research, education, work opportunities, and independent living. Advancing policies that enable people with Down syndrome to have opportunities to realize their hopes and dreams takes bipartisan cooperation, and I am proud to join Senator Casey in founding the Senate counterpart of this valuable congressional task force.” 

“As Americans, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to realize their dreams and be equipped with the tools to do so,” Rep. Yoder said. “Getting the ABLE Act signed into law in December was a critical step towards allowing some of the most vulnerable Americans among us to have that capability. I look forward to working with Senator Moran on the bipartisan Down Syndrome Task Force to help continue to raise awareness and provide assistance to those who need it most as they strive to achieve an independent and productive life.”

“The National Down Syndrome Society is very excited to have Sen. Moran championing our efforts to help members of Congress enhance their understanding of issues important to people with Down syndrome and their families by serving as the Senate Co-Chair of the Congressional Task Force on Down Syndrome,” said Jawanda Mast, Olathe, Kan., resident and Manager of Grassroots Advocacy for the National Down Syndrome Society. “In keeping with his history of supporting individuals with Down syndrome, Congressman Yoder has also joined the Congressional Task Force. I appreciate the leadership of Senator Moran and Congressman Yoder on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome and believe it is a great example of effective grassroots advocacy. Both Sen. Moran and Rep. Yoder have listened to constituents and taken initiative.”

Sen. Moran and Rep. Yoder were instrumental in the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014, legislation to allow people with disabilities to set up tax-free savings accounts to help better provide for their future. Since the federal bill was signed into law in December 2014, 30 states, including Kansas, have passed legislation creating state ABLE savings programs.