WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) went to the House Floor tonight to urge passage of S. 984, The Steve Gleason Act, prior to it passing unanimously out of the House of Representatives. It now heads to the President’s desk for him to sign into law.
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to thank the gentleman from Wisconsin for yielding, and for his leadership and help in bringing the Steve Gleason Act to the House floor. Steve Gleason is somebody who has served as an inspiration for people from Louisiana for a long time. Going back to that game in 2006, when the Superdome was reopened after hurricane Katrina, that night was one of the galvanizing moments that helped bring the City of New Orleans back and helped inspire the people of New Orleans to come back. He blocked the punt at the end of the game to win the game. I was in the Dome that night with my wife Jennifer and we were as euphoric as everybody in that building.
“The reason Steve Gleason inspires people today is not because of what he did on the football field, but because of what he has done to serve as an inspiration for people with disabilities all across the country since he was diagnosed with A.L.S. Mr. Speaker, what he’s done is to go out and show that he is able to exhibit his voice because of the speech generating device that he has. This isn’t something he wants for himself, but for all people who have something to say, who have that same voice, to be able to go out and inspire other people. When C.M.S. made the change in policy that started to take away that voice, he spoke up, as so many others did, and said we need to reverse this.
“I commend Senator Vitter for bringing this legislation forward. This is a bill that truly will give a voice to thousands of people. Over 5,000 people every year are diagnosed with A.L.S. — they all have something to say. They all have that voice. The Steve Gleason Act will give them that voice so they can go out and continue to achieve their life’s potential. I urge passage of this legislation and I yield back.”