McMorris Rodgers Discusses How Tax Bill Affects Children With Disabilities

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers is working to ensure the GOP’s tax reform legislation includes language expanding opportunities for individuals and families with children with disabilities to save and invest.

Congressional Republicans are in the process of conferencing the House and Senate tax bills, and McMorris Rodgers said she’s confident provisions related to the ABLE 2.0 legislative package will make it into the final bill.

While the ABLE Act passed in 2014 with bipartisan support — which amended the Internal Revenue Service Code to create tax-advantaged savings accounts [ABLE accounts] for those with disabilities — the Washington Republican is looking to increase the level of contributions that can without risking the loss of eligibility for government benefits including Social Security. The changes would allow ABLE beneficiaries who earn income to save up to the federal poverty level in addition to an annual contribution up to $14,000.

“It’s really building upon the ABLE Act that would allow someone with disabilities to go explore the opportunity to work and be able to save, put that $11,770 into an ABLE account which is really important to addressing some of the barriers to work that those with disabilities face,” McMorris Rodgers told The Daily Caller. “Also for a family that may have been saving for a child’s tuition through a 529 account and then the child has become disabled, they can roll that over into an ABLE account.”

The accounts have the benefit of tax-free interest while allowing funds to be used for necessities like medical expenses. McMorris Rodgers, who has a disabled son, said she’s hopeful the bill will help provide better lives for those with special needs.

“I’m encouraged that we’re able to build on it because what it means for someone with disabilities, an individual, a child with disabilities it’s just really going to change the dynamic in allowing them more opportunities after they graduate from school,” she said. “Because the ABLE account allows them to to save for education, for transportation, for housing, live independently and now explore the opportunity to work.”

Republicans are looking to pass their tax reform bill before the end of the year.

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