A bill in Congress that would force builders to provide people with disabilities with a choice of whether or not to build their homes is the latest sign of how the Trump administration is reshaping the way that federal contracts are awarded.
The House passed the bill Thursday.
The legislation, sponsored by Republican Rep. Jim Cooper, a North Carolina Republican, would also mandate that contractors provide information about their workforce to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.
The bill would also require contractors to make clear in their contracts that people with mental illness, substance abuse, or other health conditions cannot be excluded from participating.
The measure is not expected to pass the House, which is dominated by conservatives who are wary of government spending.
Instead, the legislation faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
“We have to have a very, very clear-cut rule on the part of the federal government to say, ‘No, you can’t do this,'” Rep. Mark Meadows, a South Carolina Republican who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, said of the bill.
The federal government pays about $16 billion per year to more than 2.4 million contractors for housing and other services that include health care and disability services.
Trump has sought to use his executive powers to roll back longstanding policies protecting the rights of people with developmental disabilities, including by signing an order in January to end a federal program that provides support to families of people who were denied housing based on their disabilities.
The move to restrict contractors’ rights to refuse people with disability to purchase their homes has sparked protests across the country.
Cooper, who is a Trump supporter, said in a statement that the bill was the result of “overwhelming pressure” from people with physical and mental health issues.
“The House bill is a first step to end this harmful practice,” Cooper said.
“Congress has already approved several anti-discrimination bills and this bill would be the first step toward ending the discriminatory practice of the Obama Administration.”
The Trump administration has also been pushing back against critics who have questioned the use of federal housing subsidies to purchase homes for people with special needs, particularly for low-income families.
Trump signed an executive order in May that prohibits the U,S.
government from funding the construction of single-family homes or apartment buildings that do not meet federal standards for accessibility.
It also prohibits the federal housing department from using federal housing funds to fund the construction and operation of a “design-build” program.