Letter to members of the U.S. Senate regarding Individual Development Accounts
November 13, 2002
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) urges you to support the immediate passage of legislation that would expand Individual Development Accounts (IDA) through establishment of a tax credit program. CUNA represents more than 90 percent of our nation's more than 10,000 state and federal credit unions and 82 million credit union members. The IDA proposal, introduced by Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Richard Santorum (R-PA) is a part of the Senate Finance Committee approved version of H.R. 7 the Compassion, Aid, Recover and Empowerment (CARE) Act. In this connection, we commend Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) for their insightful leadership and continued support for this provision.
The IDA section of the CARE Act is the most dramatic expansion of IDAs since it was first authorized by the Personal Work and Responsibility Act of 1996. The CARE Act would authorize the opening of 300,000 new accounts.
We believe the remaining days of this session offer the best opportunity to enact this most important legislation, which will provide incentives and resources to assist low-income, working individuals and families save to purchase a first home, obtain post-secondary education and job training, or start a small business. We understand certain portions of the CARE Act, unrelated to the IDA provisions that remain controversial; we believe that it is crucial that such differences not impede immediate enactment of this sorely needed legislation.
Thank you for considering our views.
Daniel A. Mica
President & CEO