More on Disabilities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Upon House passage of the 21st Century Cures Act—legislation introduced by the Energy and Commerce Committee to revolutionize medical innovation and research and bring it into the 21st Century—Congressman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) issued the following statement:
Congressmen Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chairs of the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, today praised passage of the Enhancing the Stature and Visibility of Medical Rehabilitation Research at NIH Act by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). As the lead sponsors of companion legislation in the House, they commended Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) for championing this effort in the Senate.
In keeping with our pledge to Grow America’s Economy Instead of Washington’s Economy, I want to take a moment to draw your attention to what the House of Representatives has accomplished in just the month of January.
U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) introduced yesterday the Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME) Act of 2015 (H.R. 188) seeking to responsibly phase out the use of Special Wage Certificates under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
This evening, the House of Representatives passed the FY 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill. This spending bill contains a number of important measures that fulfill the people’s priorities, including protecting jobs, stopping wasteful spending, reining in government overreach, and funding our national security.
While many American families plan for the future by opening tax-advantaged 529 savings accounts to set aside funds for future college costs, families with children with disabilities lose federal benefits if they opt to make the same choice. The act would establish tax-free so-called ABLE accounts — a flexible savings tool similar to what other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. People with disabilities would be able to save up to $14,000 annually at any financial institution. Families would also be able to use the account to cover medical expenses not covered by private insurance or Medicaid.
The legislation would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code to allow use of tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill, would ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, medical, and transportation.
Our country must shift the paradigm of low expectations to one of full participation. Meaningful work deserves fair pay. We must invest in the full participation of every citizen, including Americans with disabilities.
Because of your help, the “Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act” has been signed into law! One year ago, I asked you to help me spread the word about this exciting idea. Washington heard your voice. Lawmakers in both chambers with varying political views recognized the value of expanded and improved medical research and set aside differences to advance this practical act.
“Inspired by Gabriella Miller’s captivating advocacy, this law gives hope to our country’s most vulnerable kids. Kids fighting life-threatening conditions. Kids facing developmental disorders. And kids like Evie Horton from my home state, whose strength and determination in overcoming the struggles of Spinal Muscular Atrophy continuously energizes my public service. I am thrilled that lawmakers in both chambers with varying political views recognized the value of expanded and improved medical research and set aside differences to advance this practical act.”