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Letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman William M Thomas and Ranking Minority Member Charles B Rangel regarding H R 2 the Jobs and Growth Act of 2003

Letters to Congress

Letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman William M. Thomas and Ranking Minority Member Charles B. Rangel regarding H.R. 2, the Jobs and Growth Act of 2003

May 6, 2003

The Honorable Charles B. Rangel
Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Way and Means
U.S. House of Representatives
1106 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative Rangel:

As you begin the markup of H.R. 2, the Jobs and Growth Tax Act of 2003, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) urges you to include provisions that would encourage and expand savings opportunities for all citizens. CUNA represents over 90 percent of our nation's more than 10,000 state and federal credit unions and 82 million credit union members.

CUNA strongly supports simplification of pension and retirement savings rules which would enhance retirement savings and promote more coverage. We urge you to include provisions that would make the retirement reforms enacted under the 2001 Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act permanent, such as the moderate-income Savers Credit, accelerate savings limit increases, further expand the availability of IRAs and pensions, continue regulatory simplification efforts, and make investment education available for employees.

We note that proposals to increase IRA contribution limits to $5,000 and other pension limits to $15,000 are particularly needed and urge you to make them effective in 2003. We also believe the catch-up contribution limits with respect to savers age 50 and over should be made effective in 2003.

CUNA also urges you to include provisions to expand Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), first authorized by the Personal Work and Responsibility Act of 1996. IDAs are a proven economic development tool that will assist working-poor families to finally move into the financial mainstream and achieve their piece of the American Dream. The IDA provision would enable 300,000 low-income working families in communities across the country (in all states) to access this proven asset-building tool.

IDAs will provide the incentives and resources necessary to help low-income, working individuals and families purchase their first home, pay for post-secondary education and job training, or start a small business.

We also support proposals to provide a lower tax rate on interest and dividend income to increase the national savings rate.

Thank you for considering our views.

Sincerely,
Daniel A. Mica
President & CEO
Cc: Ways and Means Committee Members

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