Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) today (11/15) recognized the year anniversary of the introduction of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act – HR 3423/S 1872), citing growing support for creating tax-free savings accounts for the disabled and underscoring their continued fight to push the bipartisan bill to passage during the current lame duck session of Congress.
House and Senate bill co-sponsors and representatives from the National Down Syndrome Society, The Arc, and Autism Speaks joined them at a press conference at the House Triangle on the grounds of the United States Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 15. There, members of the group marked the anniversary of the bill’s introduction in the 112th Congress, outlined the road ahead for the bill, and described an improved quality of life for individuals with disabilities through the legislation.
The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill was introduced in the 112th Congress on November 15, 2011 and has earned the support of 234 House Members and 40 Senate Members.
Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers stated, “As the mom of a child with special needs and Co-Chair of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus, I know firsthand the importance of promoting policies that will help those with disabilities lead independent lives. The ABLE Act will allow parents to save for their children’s futures and give kids with disabilities an added layer of security. I’m proud to join a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders in support of this legislation, and I will do all that I can to ensure that individuals with disabilities have better and brighter futures.”
Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) stated, “The support we’ve seen for the ABLE Act this year is encouraging, and I will continue to work with my colleagues on moving this common-sense legislation forward. As the father of a young man with Down syndrome, I am committed to finding ways to enhance the quality of life and maximize the potential for all individuals with disabilities. I strongly believe that allowing families to form tax-free savings accounts to cover certain expenses, like education and housing, will create a brighter future for our loved ones with disabilities.”
Peter Bell, Executive Vice President of Programs and Services for Autism Speaks, stated: “With the prevalence of autism on the rise and the lifetime cost of caring for a single individual now estimated at about $2 million, ABLE offers a fiscally responsible solution to address this public health crisis. We urge Congress to recognize the overwhelming bipartisan support for this measure and act for all families with disabilities this session.”
Congressman Ander Crenshaw
• Barbara Riley, Communications Director
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 202.225.2501
Senator Robert Casey
• April Mellody, Communications Director/ John Rizzo, Press Secretary
Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)
• Chip Gerhardt, National Down Syndrome Society Board Chair
• NDSS Self Advocate Jenny Cunningham, Worthington, OH
• NDSS contact: Sara Hart Weir, Vice President, Advocacy & Affiliate Relations
Email: email@example.com, Phone: 202.680.8867
• Joyce Lipman, Former Board Member of TheArc and her daughter Elise Lipman, Rockville, MD
• TheArc contact: Kristen McKiernan, Communications Director
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 202.534.3712 | Toll free: 800.433.5255
• Peter Bell, Executive Vice President, Autism Speaks
• Autism Speaks Self Advocate Scott Gladstone, Bethesda, MD
• Autism Speaks contact: Rick Remington, Communications Director, Government Relations
Email: email@example.com, Phone: 646.367.5334