The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
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The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is Elated to Announce that a Bipartisan Agreement Has Been Reached to Move the ABLE Act Forward for a Floor Vote When Congress Returns

Washington, DC – September 19, 2014. The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), the largest nonprofit representing and advocating for people with Down syndrome and their families, is deeply elated to announce that a bipartisan agreement has been made on the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (S. 313/H.R. 647). Our organization and the entire Down syndrome community strongly commend the leadership of the US Senate Finance Committee and US House Ways and Means Committee, specifically Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ranking Member Orinn Hatch (R-UT), Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) for making the ABLE Act a reality for people with Down syndrome.

“We deeply appreciate the good faith and hard work of all Members of Congress to come together to establish a path forward to the President’s desk so that the ABLE Act becomes law,” said Sara Hart Weir, Vice President of Advocacy & Affiliate Relations, NDSS.  “We couldn’t have gotten this far without the leadership of both the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee, along with our six dedicated Congressional champions – Senator Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) and their hard working Congressional staff.”

NDSS would also like to sincerely commend the thank the leadership of the 113th US Congress, especially Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for their dedication and support of the ABLE Act.

The ABLE Act continues to be hailed as the most popular, bipartisan, bicameral bill before the 113th Congress. The ABLE Act has amassed the support of 74 cosponsors from the US Senate and 381 cosponsors from the House of Representatives. On July 23, 2014, the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight held a Congressional hearing entitled, Saving for an Uncertain Future: How the ABLE Act can Help People with Disabilities and their Families, where NDSS Board Member and Self-Advocate Sara Wolff testified. On July 31st, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed the ABLE Act out of Committee.

“Families, like mine, will now be able to rest assure that they can equally care for their children and adults with disabilities, just like they can for their other children and family members. The passage of this landmark legislation will go a long way to help people with Down syndrome and other disabilities realize and achieve our own hopes, dreams, and aspirations,” said NDSS board member and change.org author Sara Wolff.

The ABLE Act amends Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. This will ease financial strains felt by those individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation.

 

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