WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Ander Crenshaw, author of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act - H.R. 647 and S. 313), thanked the witnesses who testified at Wednesday’s Senate ABLE Act subcommittee hearing and pointed to the proceedings as an example of the landmark legislation continuing to gain traction on Capitol Hill.
Crenshaw, Chairman of House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement:
“The ABLE Act levels the playing field for individuals with disabilities to live their lives to their highest potential. More than three quarters of the entire U.S. Congress are supportive of this long-overdue legislation, and today’s (7/23) Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing opens the door for additional strong support.
“Thanks go to the witnesses who shared their personal stories and further educated the public about how ABLE can help ease their financial burdens. These are the people who live with disabilities, have a family member with a disability, and advocate and work in the disability community. They have first-hand knowledge of the benefits of being able to use the same IRS-sanctioned tools that other Americans enjoy in planning for their future. The ABLE Act will make that goal a reality, and I’m confident that we will get there soon.”
Testifying at Wednesday’s hearing, held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, were: Sara Wolff, Self Advocate and Board Member, National Down Syndrome Society; U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA); Robert D’Amello, Volunteer Advocate, Autism Speaks; Chase Alston Phillips, Financial Advisor.
BACKGROUND: The ABLE Act would create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities to use for qualified expenses such as education, housing, medical, and transportation. The legislation has earned the support of more than half of the United States Congress (367 House co-sponsors and 74 Senate co-sponsors) and more than 100 local, state, and national disability advocacy organizations.
The legislation, first introduced in 2006, would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code to 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources.