House votes to boost retirement savings

The House on Thursday passed a bipartisan bill aimed at boosting retirement savings that also fixes an issue with the GOP tax law.

The bill, known as the SECURE Act, passed by a vote of 417-3. The three lawmakers who voted against the bill were GOP Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashThe Hill's Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 Amash decides against Libertarian campaign for president The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - In reversal, Trump says he won't disband coronavirus task force MORE (Mich.), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieHouse holds first-ever proxy votes during pandemic House GOP lawmaker breaks with party to back proxy voting House adopts historic rules changes to allow remote voting MORE (Ky.) and Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyHouse passes bill to grant flexibility for small business aid program The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter House Republicans to file lawsuit to halt proxy voting MORE (Texas).

The bill includes a number of provisions designed to encourage businesses to offer retirement plans and to make it easier for people to save for their retirements.

These include provisions that would make it easier for small businesses to join together to offer retirement plans, treat graduate students’ stipends as compensation for purposes concerning individual retirement accounts (IRA), allow long-term and part-time workers to participate in companies’ 401(k) plans, and eliminate the age maximum for contributing to IRAs.

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“This is the most substantive promotion of retirement savings in the last 15 years,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealHouse Democrats press Treasury on debit cards used for coronavirus relief payments House Democrats' bill would create a second round of direct coronavirus relief payments Lawmakers question why dead people are getting coronavirus checks MORE (D-Mass.).

The bill also would reverse changes that the GOP tax law made to a tax on children’s unearned income known as the “kiddie tax.”

Republicans aimed in their 2017 law to simplify the kiddie tax, which was originally created in the 1986 tax law to prevent wealthy people from avoiding taxes. However, the changes unintentionally ended up raising taxes on certain income received by children, such as benefits received by the children of deceased military members and first responders.

“What this tax bill did to Gold Star families was wrong, but I’ve been heartened to see so many of my colleagues join me in a bipartisan effort to right this wrong,” said Rep. Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaGun control group rolls out House endorsements The Hill's Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 House GOP lawmaker breaks with party to back proxy voting MORE (D-Va.), who has been a leader in the efforts to reverse the tax increase.

When the Ways and Means Committee approved the retirement bill in April, the bill included provisions that would allow 529 education savings plans to be used for homeschooling expenses and certain nontuition expenses related to K-12 education. But those provisions were removed.

Neal said earlier this week that the two 529 provisions were removed because a considerable number of Democrats objected to them, while Republicans attributed to removal to the desires of “special interest” teachers unions.

Republicans were disappointed by the removal of the 529 provisions, but nearly every GOP lawmaker still voted for the bill.

“I am very encouraged by the underlying bill we have in front of us,” said Ways and Means Committee ranking member Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyFormer Texas Rep. Sam Johnson dies at 89 On The Money: McConnell: Talking about fifth coronavirus bill 'in next month or so' | Boosted unemployment benefits on the chopping block | Women suffering steeper job losses from COVID-19 Kudlow: 0-per-week boost to unemployment benefits won't 'survive the next round of talks' MORE (R-Texas). "It will greatly benefit our workers. It deserves strong support.”

There is bipartisan interest in both chambers of Congress in passing legislation to increase retirement savings.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyFormer Romney strategist joins anti-Trump Lincoln Project Frustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  Rosenstein to testify as part of Graham's Russia investigation probe MORE (R-Iowa) and ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSenate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks Voting rights, public health officials roll out guidelines to protect voters from COVID-19 Twitter adds fact-checking labels to hundreds of tweets despite Trump attacks MORE (D-Ore.) have introduced a bill that has a number of similarities to the bill that passed the House, and Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSoured on Fox, Trump may be seeking new propaganda outlet On The Money: McConnell: Talking about fifth coronavirus bill 'in next month or so' | Boosted unemployment benefits on the chopping block | Women suffering steeper job losses from COVID-19 Kudlow: 0-per-week boost to unemployment benefits won't 'survive the next round of talks' MORE (R-Ohio) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSenate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks Lawmakers urge Trump to cancel DC's July 4 event: 'Impossible to put on safely' This week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House's proxy voting MORE (D-Md.) also recently introduced a package on retirement savings.

The Senate retirement bills don’t include the kiddie tax fix, but the Senate earlier this week passed a stand-alone bill to undo the tax increase on military survivor benefits received by children.

Updated at 11:54 a.m.