* Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, today, I introduced the Retirement Savings Access Act of 2011. This legislation would allow financially struggling Americans access to their retirement dollars without penalty.
* As the economic downturn continues, most Americans who have fallen on hard times are not looking for the Federal Government to bail them out. Instead, they are simply asking for the government to get off their backs.
* Currently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) levies a 10% penalty on all early withdrawals from Investment Retirement Accounts (IRAs), meaning money that is taken out of an account before a beneficiary turns 59 1/2 years old. This provision encourages saving for retirement and planning for the future, but it is a menacing tax to levy on people who are in dire financial straits, such as the unemployed.
* This legislation would exempt individuals who have already exhausted the standard 26 weeks of unemployment benefits from the tax penalty they would otherwise normally incur for a withdrawal from their retirement accounts before they reach 59 1/2 years of age.
* We have bailed out Wall Street financial institutions and propped up the ailing automotive sector. But it is our constituents who are hurting the most, and this legislation would help them access their own money without a government penalty for doing so.