Latinos with disabilities stand to benefit from the ABLE Act

In a rare move of bipartisanship, the House on Wednesday approved a bill that aims to lift a burden from millions of Americans living with disabilities, including many Latinos. The Achieving A Better Life Experience Act, commonly referred to as the ABLE Act, passed in the House by a vote of 404 to 17. The bill now heads to the Senate for a final vote. SEE ALSO: Individualized Education Program for students with disabilities Under current law, individuals with disabilities cannot have more than $2,000 in assets in order to be eligible for government support programs, like Social Security disability benefits or Medicaid. This includes people with Down syndrome and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But the ABLE Act seeks to change that. The bill would amend the tax code to allow people with disabilities to open tax-free savings accounts to pay for expenses without jeopardizing their eligibility for government aid. As many as 54 million Americans with disabilities stand to be affected by the bill, including many Latinos. According to U.S. Census data, about 18 percent of Latinos in the United States live with a disability. House Republican Conference Chair McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), whose 7-year-old son has Down syndrome, applauded the House vote to approve the ABLE Act on Wednesday. She called the vote “a pivotal step toward empowering families and individuals across the nation.” “As the mother of a son with Down syndrome, I am proud that we acted to improve the quality of life for those with disabilities,” Rodgers said in a statement to VOXXI. “This common-sense, overwhelmingly bipartisan bill will allow parents — many of whom are Latino — to save for their children’s futures and give kids with disabilities an opportunity to live the American Dream.” SEE ALSO: Why are autism rates among minorities under-represented? Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) first introduced the ABLE Act eight years ago. Prior to the vote on Wednesday, he said the tax-free savings accounts created under the bill “simply give those individuals with disabilities a chance for the American Dream.” “They have hopes and dreams just like we all do,” he said, referring to people with disabilities. “This will give them the tool to open the door to a brighter future, the way to realize their full potential.” Furthermore, Crenshaw acknowledged that people often speak about how Congress is “dysfunctional.” But he said that passing the bill would be “a great example of what can be accomplished when people work together.” He also noted that the bill picked up more than 380 co-sponsors in the House and more than 70 co-sponsors in the Senate. The ABLE Act is now headed to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are co-sponsors. The bill is expected to pass and be sent to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature. SEE ALSO: Lary Leon: A mermaid who doesn’t let her disabilities hold her backThe post Latinos with disabilities stand to benefit from the ABLE Act appeared first on Voxxi.

The ABLE Act, approved in the House on Wednesday, seeks to amend the tax code to create tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities, including many Latinos. (Shutterstock photo)

In a rare move of bipartisanship, the House on Wednesday approved a bill that aims to lift a burden from millions of Americans living with disabilities, including many Latinos.

The Achieving A Better Life Experience Act, commonly referred to as the ABLE Act, passed in the House by a vote of 404 to 17. The bill now heads to the Senate for a final vote.

SEE ALSO: Individualized Education Program for students with disabilities

Under current law, individuals with disabilities cannot have more than $2,000 in assets in order to be eligible for government support programs, like Social Security disability benefits or Medicaid. This includes people with Down syndrome and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

But the ABLE Act seeks to change that.

The bill would amend the tax code to allow people with disabilities to open tax-free savings accounts to pay for expenses without jeopardizing their eligibility for government aid. As many as 54 million Americans with disabilities stand to be affected by the bill, including many Latinos. According to U.S. Census data, about 18 percent of Latinos in the United States live with a disability.

House Republican Conference Chair McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), whose 7-year-old son has Down syndrome, applauded the House vote to approve the ABLE Act on Wednesday. She called the vote “a pivotal step toward empowering families and individuals across the nation.”

“As the mother of a son with Down syndrome, I am proud that we acted to improve the quality of life for those with disabilities,” Rodgers said in a statement to VOXXI. “This common-sense, overwhelmingly bipartisan bill will allow parents — many of whom are Latino — to save for their children’s futures and give kids with disabilities an opportunity to live the American Dream.”

SEE ALSO: Why are autism rates among minorities under-represented?

Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) first introduced the ABLE Act eight years ago. Prior to the vote on Wednesday, he said the tax-free savings accounts created under the bill “simply give those individuals with disabilities a chance for the American Dream.”

“They have hopes and dreams just like we all do,” he said, referring to people with disabilities. “This will give them the tool to open the door to a brighter future, the way to realize their full potential.”

Furthermore, Crenshaw acknowledged that people often speak about how Congress is “dysfunctional.” But he said that passing the bill would be “a great example of what can be accomplished when people work together.” He also noted that the bill picked up more than 380 co-sponsors in the House and more than 70 co-sponsors in the Senate.

The ABLE Act is now headed to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are co-sponsors. The bill is expected to pass and be sent to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature.

SEE ALSO: Lary Leon: A mermaid who doesn’t let her disabilities hold her back

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