The ABLE Act, passed by the House this week to allow people with disabilities to open tax-free savings accounts for qualified expenses, will change many lives, Republican Reps Ander Crenshaw, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Pete Sessions, said in Saturday's GOP weekly address
"Right now, people with disabilities aren't given the chance to save much of what they earn," said McMorris Rodgers, of Washington. "It's an outdated law that only encourages them to resign themselves to a life of dependence. The ABLE Act will change that."
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Money can be used from the savings accounts for expenses such as education, retirement, job training and other future expenses.
McMorris Rodgers told of her son, Cole, who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome three days after he was born.
"His diagnosis came with a list of future complications: endless doctors’ appointments, heart defects, even early Alzheimer’s," said McMorris Rodgers. "Seven years later, as the mom of that little boy, Cole, nothing has given me greater joy than watching the impact he has had on the world — and dreaming of the difference he will make when he grows up."
Sessions, of Texas, noted that he has a "dynamic Down Syndrome son," Alex, who will turn 21 next year.
"Let me tell you, he’s got every wish and desire to succeed just like his big brother does," said Sessions. "We don’t know what the future holds, but I’m not going to sit back and allow anything— especially any law — to prevent our children from fulfilling their potential."
He said he can't thank the people and families enough who helped spearhead the ABLE Act.
"We’re not just talking about dollars and cents here," said Sessions. "Every one of these accounts will be a new ladder of opportunity, and a new source of the one thing every parent loves: peace of mind."
Crenshaw said he first filed the legislation in 2006, and "because of the hard work, dedication, and teamwork of an awful lot of people, we were able to bring that legislation to the floor and pass it with an overwhelming majority."
The legislation is simple and straightforward, he explained and "allows individuals with disabilities a better chance to help themselves, to be less dependent on government and more independent in their daily lives. It allows them to achieve their full potential and to realize their hopes and their dreams."
Listening to McMorris Rodgers and Sessions, Crenshaw said, makes it "easy to see why the ABLE Act will open the door to a brighter future for millions of Americans."
"I can’t think of a greater privilege than to speak out with legislation for people that can’t often speak for themselves," said Crenshaw. "And I know the ABLE Act will bring justice and peace of mind to millions of American families who deal with disabilities every day."
McMorris Rodgers said that lawmakers are there "to advance solutions that make people's lives better. Solutions that empower all Americans — no matter where they come from, how much money they make, or what challenges they face."
And the ABLE Act, she said, will "empower millions, like my son Cole and so many others, with the opportunity to have a better life.
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