I like CFED’s moxie. During quite a few sessions of Congress, CFED has pushed for the Savings for Working Families Act, which would provide a funding vehicle to greatly expand and transform the matched savings field. Every time, the legislation has failed to be enacted. I believe it did come up for a vote in the Senate twice and actually passed there, but has never been voted on in the House.
Not to be deterred, CFED is pushing it again in the 111th congress, and now it has ballooned from a 900,000 account program to a 2.7 million account program (with $120 million for financial education). Perhaps it needed to be a bit more ambitious to get the attention of congressmembers.
I received an email from CFED today urging supporters to take action:
Click on TAKE ACTION to send an email to your legislators requesting they cosponsor the bill.
The effort to enact The Savings for Working Families Act (SWFA) in the Senate is being led by Senators Lincoln (D-AR), Lieberman (I-CT), Kerry (D-MA), Bunning (R-KY), Snowe (R-ME) and Collins (R-ME).
In the House, the original cosponsors are Representatives Pomeroy (D-ND), Schwartz (D-PA), Pitts (R-PA) and Brady (R-TX).
Last Congress, SWFA garnered a record level of bipartisan support with 127 cosponsors in both chambers, including 27 Senators and 51 Republicans! The Senate passed the IDA Tax Credit bill twice. Many national organizations, financial institutions and businesses support the IDA Tax Credit.
CFED has put together a helpful overview of the program to describe the benefits from the point of view of nonprofit organizations with existing asset-building programs. This version of the bill provides enhanced opportunities for nonprofits in the asset-building field to benefit, which I hope will increase the number of citizens advocating on its behalf. CFED claims that the bill has an excellent chance of passing in this session of congress.
I hope my Vermont congressmen will get on board as co-sponsors. In the 110th congress, Rep. Peter Welch was a co-sponsor, but I’d like to see Vermont’s Senators, Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy, support this effort as well.
It will be interesting to see whether the current economy helps increase the appreciation of congressmembers for the importance of savings incentives, financial education, and restoring the practice of thrift.