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Jan 30, 2013 -- 6:50 pm
After Four Decades, Disability Champion Leaving Congress


By MICHELLE DIAMENT
January 29, 2013
News that Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, plans to retire next year is leaving disability advocates pondering a future without their staunchest ally on Capitol Hill.
Harkin, 73, said Saturday that he will not seek a sixth term in the U.S. Senate next year.
"When the current Congress is over, I will have served in the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for a total of 40 years. After 40 years, I just feel it's somebody else's turn," Harkin said in a statement.
The departure will leave a gaping hole in Congress for the disability community, advocates say. Harkin was the leading force behind the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act and has played an active role in countless other legislative efforts promoting everything from education and employment to health care and independent living opportunities for those with special needs.
"Sen. Harkin has been a huge champion in the disability community," said Mark Perriello, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities. "Moving forward, I hope that we can find someone who can step into his very large shoes and it's going to be difficult." To read the entire article, please click: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2013/01/29/after-four-decades-congress/17198/

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