WASHINGTON, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement congratulating Spokane native Steve Gleason before the ceremony today at 3:00 PM ET to award him with the Congressional Gold Medal, the most distinguished honor given by Congress.
“Steve, a Spokane native, is a hero to me and to so many of us in Eastern Washington. Working together, we ushered important legislation through Congress to permanently provide access to life-changing speech-generating devices for those who have lost their ability to speak,” said McMorris Rodgers. “Steve Gleason chose to undergo his very personal battle with ALS in the public eye. Because of his openness and willingness to share his struggles with the world, he’s done more than anyone to bring awareness to this heartbreaking disease. Through his advocacy, he has improved the quality of life for those diagnosed and led the charge in finding an end to this disease. For all of these reasons and more, he is so deserving of the Congressional Gold Medal. Congratulations, Steve, on this incredible honor.”
NOTE: Cathy led in 2015 on the Steve Gleason Act, which was signed into law to fix the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policy that limited access to speech-generating devices. In 2018, with the Steve Gleason Enduring Voice Act, Cathy and Steve made this fix permanent. Read more about these efforts here.
Cathy was also an original cosponsor of the bill to recognize Steve with the Congressional Gold Medal because of his advocacy on ALS and work to provide assistance to others living with neuromuscular diseases.
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