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treated, fed, clothed and housed, to say nothing of necessary incidental living expenses, on $60 per month.
Further, the $60 would not be given, unless competent medical examinations, once yearly, prove such person to be totally disabled, and unfeasible for rehabilitation. In short, the initial placement of a person on such grant does not meat such person is so supported eternally, as is often now the case, but, they would have to prove, by annual examinations, that they are still unfeasible in every way for rehabilitation.
7. Provides $5 million initial, and $2 million annual continuing appropriation, for grants for training of homebound persons.
This is very important, since, particularly in rural areas, today, there is little or no means for providing this essential service at all, and, given such training, many such homebound, could support themselves, wholly, or in part.
8. Provides $10 million revolving loan fund, from which States which have exhausted their appropriations for rehabilitation may borrow, between sessions of their own legislatures.
It may surprise the committee to know that, despite under present laws, wherein the Federal contribution takes care of administrative expenses of the State setups, on an annual basis, yet, because of exhaustion of appropriations, prerent State from rendering any actual services to handicapped for more than half the time.
9. Establishes a Division of Handicapped in the United States Civil Service Commission. As we are dealing with millions of handicappel, including disabled veterans, facilitating their examinations, tests for physical capacities, and ultimate appointment, make such Division imperative.
10. Provides for promotion of public safety programs designed to safeguard life and limb on Federal property. This, no doubt, could save the Government millions of dollars in present cost of accidents and disease.
11. Provides for reports from Federal agencies having parts of the handicapped program, so that there would be a continual and continuing check on overall ac tivities, and improvements designed and applied, in the light of experience.
12. l'rovides special programs for the severely handicapped (those from 60 to 100 percent disabled), of whom it is estimatedl, on basis of composite reports from all reliable public and private agencies, that there are now from 7 million to 9 million in such categories.
13. Provides for rehabilitation centers throughout the Nation. This a vital necessity to development of the program.
14. Establishes à Federal second injury tax and fund, something which has been vitally needed for the past 30 years, and which, when functioning, will enable hundreils of thousands of severely handicapped, with multiple disabilities, to se cure and hold remunerative employment, and thus be enabled to support themselves, their families, and make their contribution to the Nation, as a whole, by paying Federal, State, county, and municipal taxes.
15. Provides legal definitions of physically handicapped persons, and persons who are totally disabled and unfeasible for rehabilitation, Lack of clear defini. tions, today, are not only confusing, but often seriously obstruct the application of benefits needed by the individual.
The foregoing. Mr. Chairman, is more definitively outlined in the statemeat which I made, in July 1953, to the House Committee on Education and Labor. and I am attaching and sending a copy of this statement to each member of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, with respectful request that members give it careful study, as it outlines each section of S. 2570, so that you will know exactly what is intended, and what, when established, the Federal agency for handicapped will be prepared to do.
Such a program. Mr. Chairman--and I emphasize "program"-rather than "bill," is essential today, both as a means of providing vitally important man. power for our national defense, and to develop continuing means of medical, educational, guidance, and placement services for all handicapped who require such
We are today at the point where, as a matter of national policy, we must deter mine whether or not we shall continue the expensive fallacy of so-called public resistance, which produces nothing, and provides no remedies other than meager, temporary aid, or, that we shall make a capital investment in the individual handicapped citizens and get them onto their feet so they may make their own contribution to our economic and social life, and be taxpavers, instead of taxeaters.
Our Federation, with associated organizations supporting this necessary program, brings to you the pleas of more than 15 million American citizens to support
this bill 100 percent. Enactment of this bill would not disturb the basic principles of the present Federal-State setup.
For the betternent of our people, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, and for the preservation of our Nation, itself, we respectfully urge that you substitute S. 2570 for all other pending measures, which are totally inadequate, unrealistic, and will do nothing more than continue the miserably ineffective, inefficient, and unbusiness?ike present programs.
Mr. STRACHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator PURTELL. We thank you very much for it. This will be given close study by the members of the committee.
Mr. STRACHAN. I wish to say that this will probably be my swan song before Congress, after 42 years, but I hope that I may see a Federal Agency for the Handicapped established. It is absolutely a necessity that it should be done. It is good business. It is commonsense.
If I am to be given any tribute at all, the only reason why is because I have been through the mill. I have seen and experienced, with thousands of others, what this thing means, and therefore I am not taking the word of any academic thinkers whatsoever. This proposition, to me, is personal. I have been through it.
I have never recommended one single program to the Congress that did not pay off 10 to 1 in the end in functioning and I insist that this will do the same.
Senator PURTELL. I think we have included in the record all the other documents except these last two.
The first is a report from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, dated October 8, 1953.
The second is a letter from the Bureau of the Budget, dated September 28, 1953. They will be included in the record.
(Letter from Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; letter from the Bureau of the Budget are as follows:)
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
BUREAU OF THE BUDGET,
Washington 25, D. C., September 28, 1953.
United States Senate, Washington 25, D. C.
The general purposes of S. 2570 are to expand Federal aid to citizens handi-
Rehabilitation, the Division for the Physically Handicapped in the Bureau of Labor Standards, and the Library of Congress would be transferred to the new agency.
As you know, the President recommended to the Congress the establishment of a Commission to study Federal-State relations, including programs of Federal aid. This study will include the review of existing programs of Federal aid, the need for additional programs of Federal aid, and the adequacy of fiscal re sources available to the various levels of Government to discharge their proper functions. The Congress subsequently enacted legislation establishing the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. Until such time as the Commission submits its report, it would seem inappropriate to create new grant and loan programs, some of which are financed entirely by the Federal Government, as is proposed by this bill.
Moreover, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare now contains most Federal functions relating to assistance and services to the handicapped. These services are closely related to the Department's functions in the general fields of health, education, and welfare. In submitting Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953, creating the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the President said, "I believe, and this plan reflects my conviction, that these several fields of Federal activity should continue within the framework of a single department." The creation of an independent agency for the handicapped would not be consistent with this objective.
In addition, the programs encompassed in this bill would involve a substantial increase in Federal expenditures at a time when every effort is being made to bring the Federal budget into balance.
For these reasons this office recommends that this measure not be enacted at this time. Sincerely yours,
RowLAND HUGHES, Deputy Director.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE,
October 8, 1953 Hon. H. ALEXANDER SMITH, Chairman, Committee on Labor and Public Welfare,
United states Senate, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This letter is in response to your request of August 3, 1953, for a report on S. 2570, a bill to establish the Federal Agency for Handicapped, to define its duties, and for other purposes.
This bill proposes far-reaching changes in Federal programs and services for the handicapped.
In the first place, it would establish a Federal Agency for Handicapped which is to be an independent agency though based, for housekeeping purposes, in the Department of Labor. To the new agency would be transferred all of the functions of the Federal Security Agency (now this Department) under the Vocational Rehabilitation Act (29 U. S. C. 31 et seq.), relating to grants to States for vocational rehabilitation, the Randolph-Sheppard Act, relating to vending stands for the blind (20 U. S. C. 107 et seq.), and title X of the Social Security Act, relating to grants to the States for aid to the blind, and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in this Department would be abolished. There would also be transferred to the new agency the functions of certain other agencies affecting the handicapped.
In the second place, the bill would add to existing programs for the handicapped several new grant and loan programs, diverse and complex in character, some of them financed entirely by the Federal Government. The bill would also provide for a new excise tax on employers to establish a Federal Second Injury Fund which would be available for relief to employers in some States from the burden of paying workmen's compensation costs in the case of a second or subsequent injury which are not fairly attributable to the disability caused by such injury.
1. There are now concentrated in this Department most Federal functions in connection with assistance and services to the handicapped. These programs for the handicapped are not only interrelated but are an integral part of a balanced and coordinated program in the fields of health, education, and welfare with which this Department is concerned.
The divorcement of some of these programs from the others and their transfer to an independent agency for the handicapped, which the bill proposes, would, we beliere, be unsound from the standpoint of good government organization and not in the best interests of the handicapped. It would also be untimely in view of the recent creation of this Department. In submitting Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953 to the Congress, the President said “I believe, and this plan reflects my conviction, that these several fields of Federal activity should continue within the framework of a single department."
2. As you know, Public Law 109, 83d Congress, approved July 10, 1953, pro. vided for the establishment of the Committee on Intergovernmental Relations to make a thorough study of grants-in-aid activities and of the problems of finance and Federal-State relations which attend them, including the question of justification for existing Federal programs, the need for additional programs of Federal aid, and the ability of the Federal Government and the States to finance activities of this nature. Apart from this, any new proposal involving substantial increases in Federal expenditures would have to be appraised in the light of the determination of this administration to move as rapidly as possible toward a balanced national budget. This is particularly pertinent to the proposal of the bill (title IV) to establish a program of 100 percent grants to the States for payments to totally disabled persons unfeasible for rehabilitation, which evi. dently would overlap with title XIV of the Social Security Act which now prorides for grants to assist the States in aiding totally and permanently disabled needy persons.
This Department is aware of certain gaps in the services to the handicapped and of the lack of facilities available under the Federal-State program of rehabilitation. In addition, as the department most vitally concerned with the health, education, and welfare of the people and the rehabilitation of the handicapped, we share with the Congress the sincere desire to expand and improve rehabilitation services to the handicapped. Nevertheless, for the reasons indicated above, we are unable to recommend favorable consideration of this bill.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that it perceives no objection to the submis. sion of this report to your committee. Sincerely yours,
OVETA CULP HOBBY,
Secretary. Senator PURTELL. Thank you very much. If we have no other witnesses, the hearings will stand in recess until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock in the same room.
(Whereupon, at 11:20 a. m., the committee adjourned until 10 a. m., the following day, Thursday, April 8, 1954.)