In this Feb. 14, 2018, photo, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., speaks to Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit, on Capitol Hill, in Washington.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Sen. Duckworth Responds to Lazare's Disability Comments

July 20, 2018 - 10:21 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - US Senator Tammy Duckworth calls it a dangerous concept that would set disabled rights back "several decades".

She's talking about a statement made recently by Mary Lazare, who oversees community living for the Trump administration and who basically suggested that it would be okay to institutionalize those with disabilities.

Duckworth, confined to a wheelchair after serving in the Iraq War, was incensed by Lazare's comment.

“The disability community has fought very hard for a very long time for the right to live within the community and the right to have as equally productive lives as everyone else,” she says.

Lazare has since issued an apology for her comments, but that hasn't stopped Duckworth from sending her a letter asking her to clarify what she meant. Duckworth says it's another disturbing situation that occurred on President Donald Trump's watch.

“She is his appointee, and he keeps appointing people who seem to want to bring us back to the bad old days,” she says.

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers is also investigating the situation.