Bill to aid retirement savings in limbo despite bipartisan support

U.S. & World

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — If lawmakers can work it out, there could soon be a new measure to help more Americans save for retirement.

It’s called The Secure Act, and even though Democrats and Republicans agree it’s a good idea, there’s no guarantee it will pass.

“Most of what it does is make it easier for middle-class families to save for their retirement,” said Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.).

The Secure Act would allow part-time workers access to 401(k)s and let people tap into retirement accounts early, with no penalties, under special circumstances like having a baby.

“When you start digging into the details, it is truly bipartisan,” said Adam Michael of The Heritage Institute. “There are things that both Republicans and Democrats do and don’t like in it.”

Michael said the House version passed in May with largely bipartisan support.

But now, the bill is stuck in the Senate.

“Some Senators are focused on tacking on amendments that don’t help families and don’t make this a better bill,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wa.).

She said the bill is stalled over Republican amendments.

They include fixing a mistake in the President’s recent tax overhaul and allowing broader use of 529 College Savings Plans.

“What we’re hearing from our Democratic colleagues is that the Senate is supposed to be the rubber stamp for what the House has done,” Toomey said.

Republicans say the Democrats are holding up a vote on the bill.

“All we’re asking for is them to allow a process where we can have a vote on their amendments, and a vote on our provisions,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Oh.) said.

“Democrats don’t think families relying on this relief should have to wait while Republicans try to chip away at it,” Murray said.

The bill now sits in legislative limbo, unclear when another vote could happen.

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