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109th Congress                                            Rept. 109-196
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

=====================================================================
 
  RECOGNIZING AND HONORING THE 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SIGNING OF THE 
                            AMERICANS WITH 
                        DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990

                                _______
                                

                 July 27, 2005.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Sensenbrenner, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                       [To accompany H. Res. 378]

        The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred 
the resolution (H. Res. 378) recognizing and honoring the 15th 
anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities 
Act of 1990, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommend that the resolution be 
agreed to.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of H. Res. 378 is to recognize and honor the 
15th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act of 1990 into law.

                BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR THE LEGISLATION

    On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush, with the 
bipartisan support of Congress, signed into law the Americans 
with Disabilities Act (``ADA'').\1\ The purpose of the ADA was 
``to establish a clear and comprehensive national mandate for 
the elimination of discrimination against individuals with 
disabilities; to provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable 
standards addressing discrimination against disabilities; to 
ensure that the Federal Government plays a central role in 
enforcing the standards established in the Act on behalf of 
individuals with disabilities, and to invoke the sweep of 
congressional authority, including the power to enforce the 
14th amendment to the Constitution and to regulate commerce, in 
order to address the major areas of discrimination faced day-
to-day by people with disabilities.'' \2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ 42 U.S.C.A. Sec. 12101.
    \2\ 42 U.S.C.A. Sec. 12101(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The ADA was the result of over two years of extensive 
research and hearings conducted by Congress in which 
approximately 43 million Americans were identified as having 
one or more mental or physical disabilities.\3\ Prior to the 
ADA's passage, disabled Americans experienced disparate 
treatment in almost all aspects of society, ranging from access 
to facilities and buildings to transportation to housing and 
other commercial facilities.\4\ As a result, disabled Americans 
experienced lower graduation rates, lower employment rates, 
higher poverty rates, and less personal freedom and 
independence. Because state and local laws were identified as 
being ill-equipped to address the exclusion of the disabled 
from communities, Congress intervened under its authority to 
enforce the 14th Amendment and the Interstate Commerce Clause.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ 42 U.S.C.A. Sec. 12101(a).
    \4\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since the ADA's enactment, substantial progress has been 
made to accommodate and include disabled Americans into all 
aspects of society. Buildings and facilities are more easily 
accessible by the disabled; transportation vehicles and 
telecommunications are designed with disabled Americans in 
mind; and public services are inclusive of disabled and non-
disabled Americans alike. Over the last 15 years, disabled 
Americans have experienced higher graduation rates, higher 
employment rates, and lower rates of poverty. Disabled 
Americans have also been accorded a fuller measure of dignity 
and equality as a result of passage of the ADA. Disabled 
Americans are no longer isolated from communities but have been 
empowered to live as independent, self-sufficient members of 
the community. This resolution serves as a recognition of what 
has been accomplished since 1990 and as a reminder of what 
still needs to be done.

                                HEARINGS

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H. Res. 
378.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On July, 27, 2005, the Committee on the Judiciary met in 
open session and ordered favorably reported the resolution H. 
Res. 378 without an amendment by a voice vote a quorum being 
present.

                         VOTE OF THE COMMITTEE

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee notes that there 
were no recorded votes during the committee consideration of H. 
Res. 378.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

                        COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE

    In compliance with clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee believes that 
the resolution will have no cost for the current fiscal year 
2005, and that there will be no cost incurred for the next five 
fiscal years.

                    PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
goal of H. Res. 378 is to recognize and honor the 15th 
anniversary of the signing of the American with Disabilities 
Act of 1990.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House does 
not apply as this is a resolution.

               SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.
    The first preambular clause provides that July 26, 2005, 
marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act of 1990 into law.
    The second preambular clause provides that the Americans 
with Disabilities Act of 1990 was one of the most significant 
pieces of civil rights legislation since the Civil Rights Act 
of 1964.
    The third preambular clause describes the purposes of the 
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which are to ``provide 
a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination 
of discrimination against individuals with disabilities; 
provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards 
addressing discrimination against individuals with 
disabilities; to ensure that the Federal Government plays a 
central role in enforcing the standards established in the Act 
on behalf of individuals with disabilities; and to invoke the 
sweep of Congressional authority including the power to enforce 
the 14th amendment to the Constitution and to regulate 
commerce, in order to address the major areas of discrimination 
faced day-to-day by people with disabilities.''
    The fourth preambular clause provides that Congress 
conducted two years of extensive hearings.
    The fifth preambular clause provides that prior to the 
passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act individuals with 
disabilities experienced significantly lower graduation rates 
and employment rates and were denied opportunities to 
participate because of unfair stereotypes.
    The sixth preambular clause provides that Federal and State 
laws were not sufficient to address the discrimination.
    The seventh preambular clause provides that the Americans 
with Disabilities Act of 1990 was passed in Congress with 
bipartisan support.
    The eighth preambular clause provides that the Americans 
with Disabilities Act of 1990 was the first international 
comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of a 
disability.
    The ninth preambular clause provides that since the 
enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 
significant progress has been made in the United States to 
afford greater opportunities to disabled individuals, which has 
ultimately led to a more inclusive society.
    The tenth preambular provides that 15th anniversary is 
meant to highlight the achievements of the Act but also serves 
as a reminder of the work left to be done on behalf of disabled 
Americans.
    The resolved clause provides that the House of 
Representatives:
    (1) recognizes and honors the 15th anniversary of the 
signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
    (2) recognizes and acknowledges the work of individuals and 
organizations who fought and continue to advance the interests 
of disabled Americans.
    (3) reaffirms its commitment to promoting the civil and 
constitutional rights of Americans with disabilities and 
recognizes the important role of the Nation's Federal courts in 
securing the rights of Americans under the American with 
Disabilities Act.
    (4) continues to strongly support the purposes and goals of 
the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
    (5) encourages all Americans to recognize and celebrate the 
Act's significance.

            CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee notes H. Res. 378 
makes no changes to existing law.