Legislative Sessionby Senator Richard Burr
Posted on 2014-12-16
BURR. Mr. President, I thank the soon-to-be chairman of the
Finance Committee and the current chairman of the Finance Committee for
the their help. I want to turn to my good friend Bob Casey about this
in just a second.
This has taken 8 years to bring to this point. The amazing thing is that we have taken the opportunity to meet with every group on every side of this issue and to find agreement finally, and to go out and tell the American people what we are doing, and they look at us and say this makes commonsense; what took so damned long. I am embarrassed it took so long, but this is a product that Congress, the Senate, can be proud of.
Senator Casey just covered a lot of the specifics of the legislation. I will not go over those again.
I want to say to my colleagues: One of the clues that something was wrong was the fact that we penalized individuals who had disabilities from holding assets. It meant they couldn't buy a car and have it be in their name. It meant they could only earn so much before they were penalized. What we have done is changed the landscape, and we have actually put into effect something that allows them to accumulate something for the later years when parents are gone and when they are going to need the funds. We have tried to be fiscally responsible in capping the annual amounts, capping total amounts, affecting benefits if they exceed those amounts, and automatically reinstate them if they fall back below.
I think this is a bill that the Senate and the House of Representatives can be proud of. I thank the chairs, and I thank Senator Casey. I also want to take the opportunity on behalf of our colleagues in the House to say to Congressmen Crenshaw, Sessions and Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers that we couldn't have done it without their leadership and an overwhelming vote in the House of Representatives. I urge my colleagues to not only vote yes but to be proud of this legislation.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.