Trumpeting his bill as the biggest piece of legislation for disabled Americans since the Americans With Disabilites Act (ADA) of 1990, U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaws, R-Fla., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act passed the U.S. House Wednesday on an overwhelming vote.
Crenshaws bill would create tax-free savings accounts for disabled Americans for qualified expenses and passed on a 404-17 vote on Wednesday. Now it heads to the Senate where it has 74 co-sponsors.
Talking to Sunshine State News on Wednesday, Crenshaw, the chairman of the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, said he was very proud of fighting for the ABLE Act.
This is something Ive been working on for eight years, Crenshaw told Sunshine State News on Wednesday. It opens the door to a better life for millions of Americans with disabilities.
Crenshaw took to the House floor to urge the passage of the ABLE Act on Wednesday.
Congress can work together for the good of others, and passage of the ABLE Act proves it, Crenshaw said. Millions of Americans living with disabilities are now on a path to a brighter future, and I couldnt be more proud or more grateful for the team effort that has led to this day.
Those who face the day-to-day struggle of living with disabilities that others of us can only imagine have a new tool to use in planning for the years ahead tax-free savings accounts, Crenshaw continued. No longer will they have to watch from the sidelines as other Americans access IRS-sanctioned tools to plan for their future. They will have the option to use ABLE accounts as their compass to set a course for a brighter future.
In this great and prosperous nation, everyone deserves a shot at the American dream, Crenshaw concluded. With determination, focus, teamwork, and sheer willpower, weve opened a door to a brighter future that might otherwise have remained closed. Thats a cause worth fighting for.
Speaking to Sunshine State News, Crenshaw stressed the ABLE Act had bipartisan and bicameral support.
U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., is the lead sponsor in the Senate and he cheered the House passing the bill on Wednesday.
Im pleased that the House was able to come together on a bipartisan vote to pass the ABLE Act," Casey said. Its now time for the Senate to take up this legislation and send it to the presidents desk so more families who have a child with a disability can save for their long-term care.
Crenshaw told Sunshine State News he expected quick Senate action. This will soon be on the presidents desk, Crenshaw said.
Debbie Revels, the president of the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville, whose son has Down Syndrome, was in the House gallery for the vote.
I applaud and thank Ander Crenshaw for his leadership in moving this historic bill through the House, Revels said. Passage of the ABLE Act gives individuals in the disability community the opportunity to plan and save for their futures. Pursuing their dreams can now become a reality!
The bill also got the support of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism which noted the Book of Leviticus notes you shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind.
We applaud the House of Representatives for passing the ABLE Act earlier today, said Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. The bill will empower people with disabilities by removing a major obstacle to their economic security. This legislation allows people with disabilities and their families to make contributions to tax-exempt accounts and enables them to build up to $100,000 in savings to help pay for long-term expenses without risking losing government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. Given the high unemployment and poverty rates among people with disabilities, the need for this legislation is clear."
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