Tax panel backs bill to help disabled

The House Ways and Means Committee easily cleared a measure that allows people with disabilities to have tax-free savings accounts.

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Republicans and Democrats widely back the legislation, with roughly 380 House members signed on and 75 Senate sponsors.

Both Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.), said Thursday that they would work together to find ways to offset the cost of the measure before it came to the House floor.

“This is a common-sense bill that will aid those with disabilities and their caretakers so they can live more fulfilling, happy lives and have the ability to provide for a better future,” Camp said in his opening statement on Thursday.

“We owe it to our colleagues — and more importantly, to those with disabilities and their families — to come up with a solution,” he added.

The Joint Committee on Taxation says the measure costs around $2 billion over a decade.

Advocates of the bill say it would allow people with disabilities to protect needed benefits and better plan for the future.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), the No. 4 Republican in the House and the mother of a son with Down syndrome, is among the backers of the measure.

The Senate held a hearing on its version of the bill last week, with lawmakers on both sides also saying they hoped to quickly get the measure passed.