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2013-01-03

Bill advocating for women renamed for retiring Texas senator

Special to the Courier

United States Senators Barbara A. Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland, and John Cornyn announced on Friday, Dec. 28, Senate passage of their bill to rename legislation championed by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to allow working spouses and homemakers to contribute the same amount to their IRA savings as the "Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA."
Hutchison spearheaded the effort after she was sworn-in to the Senate in 1993 with the support of Mikulski, and saw the legislation signed into law as part of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996.
"It's fitting that we recognize Senator Hutchison for her long-standing and steadfast advocacy for women," Mikulski said. "Her commitment to this legislation and to the women of America reflects the values of our nation. It rewards good parenting and families and recognizes that not all work is done in the marketplace.
"Moms and dads who are struggling to do the right thing for their family shouldn't be penalized for staying at home. By amending this provision in our tax code, women and families across America will know that they're benefitting from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA."
Concurring with his colleague, Cornyn added, "I'm pleased to support this legislation to honor Senator Hutchison for her important efforts to help moms and dads who work full-time caring for their children at home plan for their future. As she retires from the Senate, Sen. Hutchison will be remembered for this and countless other contributions that have improved the lives of working Texans and Americans across the country."
Congress created the Spousal IRA in 1996. This legislation levels the playing field by allowing spouses who are non-wage earners to make equal, fully deductible contributions to individual retirement accounts.
Women have traditionally been at a disadvantage in saving for retirement because they spend time in and out of the workforce. Currently, contributions of up to $5,000 for each spouse are allowed if the couple's wages or self-employment earnings are $10,000 or more.