NOD Policy Update: Priorities of the Biden Administration, Executive Orders, Appointees and Nominations
Priorities of the Biden Administration
President Biden’s first priority is passing a COVID-19 response package. He released an American Recovery Plan, which included the below provisions related to individuals with disabilities.
- Calls on Congress phase-out the sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities.
- Asks for funding for states to deploy strike teams to long-term care facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.
- Calls on Congress to expand eligibility of new economic stimulus payments to adult dependents who have been left out of previous rounds of relief and all mixed status households
- Suggests creation of grants to more than 1 million of the hardest hit small businesses.
Congress is currently working on negotiating another COVID-19 package based on the provisions outlined in President Biden’s COVID-19 plan. Among his other priorities, President Biden also released a disability platform during his campaign. He is working to ensure that this platform is executed throughout his time in office.
President Biden has recently announced a number of Executive Orders. Of note, he announced “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” which calls on all executive agencies to advance equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.
Biden Appointees and Nominations
President Biden continues to name staff and Administration officials. He recently named former EEOC Chair Jenny Yang as director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at DOL. Alison Barkoff, will be acting Commissioner of ACL. Once ACL has named the permanent position, Alison will be the Deputy Director of ACL. Other ACL appointees can be found here.
NCD announces new Chairman
The National Council on Disability (NCD) – an independent, nonpartisan federal agency that advises the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policy – announced Andrés J. Gallegos, of Chicago, Illinois, as its new Chairman. Previous Chairman Neil Romano remains on the Council as a member. Before being designated as Chairman by President Biden, Mr. Gallegos was originally appointed to NCD in February 2018 by then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Also announced was James Rodriguez as NCD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Acting Assistant Secretary, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. Prior to his selection, Mr. Rodriguez served in various leadership roles including Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Office of Warrior Care Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense. In this role, Mr. Rodriguez served as the principal advisor on the coordination of recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration for wounded, ill, and injured Service members across the military departments.
Mr. Rodriguez also served as the Director for Veteran and Wounded Warrior programs at BAE Systems. In that capacity, he acted as the Corporate Liaison for the White House Joining Forces initiative, to senior military leaders, government officials, and nonprofit organizations, increasing the footprint of our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured across all spectrums.