SPOKANE, Wash. -- The House’s funding bill includes the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act, which is inspired by people in the Inland Northwest.

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers introduced the act with the help of former NFL player and Spokane native, Steve Gleason. It looks to permanently fix Medicare and Medicaid policy limiting access to speech generation devices for people with degenerative diseases like ALS.

The bill passed the House but it still needs to pass the Senate. Gleason tweeted Wednesday that it could be a challenge, but he is hopeful. The original Steve Gleason Act passed in 2015. This new bill does not change anything but its aims to make it permanent.

On Twitter Gleason writes, in part, "This is not an entitlement bill, it's an empowerment bill for people who want to be productive citizens. People with extreme disabilities need to communicate and be productive and this bill ensures access to that ability."