Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) will lead a bipartisan, bicameral group of Members of Congress and organizations in outlining the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2011 (ABLE Act) at a press conference on Tuesday, November 15 at noon at the House Triangle on the grounds of the United States Capitol.
Crenshaw, Senator Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA), and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will be on hand with officials from the National Down Syndrome Society, The Arc of the United States, Autism Speaks, and other disability advocacy groups to highlight the need and importance of the bill. The ABLE Act, which would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to allow for tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities, will be introduced in the House and Senate on Tuesday, November 15.
"Our tax code currently provides advantages to help Americans save for college and retirement, yet people with disabilities do not enjoy those same financial planning tools. These individuals and their families face enormous financial struggles that most of us cannot imagine," said Crenshaw, a member of the House Appropriation Committee. "The ABLE Act helps ease those strains by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. No longer would individuals with disabilities have to stand aside and watch others use IRS-sanctioned tools to lay the groundwork for a brighter future. They would be able to as well, and that's an accomplishment we all can be proud of."
Senator Casey stated, "Pennsylvanians with disabilities face incredible challenges every day. They shouldn't be penalized simply for trying to save for their future. Congress should use current programs to ensure America's most vulnerable have the same opportunities that are provided to all citizens."
Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers stated, "As the mom of a child with special needs, I know firsthand how federal policies encourage those with disabilities to become dependent on the government and stay in poverty. To take one example, when my son Cole was born, my husband and I were advised not to put any assets in Cole's name because it would penalize him if he needed to qualify for a government program someday. There are millions of parents in this
situation, and they should be able to help their children improve their quality of life without jeopardizing their access to benefits. That's why we need the ABLE Act. This common-sense bill will allow parents to save for their children's future and give kids with disabilities an added layer of security. I'm proud to join Rep. Crenshaw in introducing this legislation and I pledge to be a leader on its behalf."