Rep. Kelly Hails Victories for Western PA as 113th Congress Concludes

Dec 19, 2014 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Energy, Tax Reform

Kelly-sponsored provision to secure retirement benefits
included in final FY 2015 omnibus budget;
extension of pro-jobs energy tax incentives signed by president;
Kelly-sponsored ABLE Act now law

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement today highlighting three legislative victories for the Third District that were achieved in Washington over this past week.

The first is the inclusion of a bipartisan retirement provision introduced by Reps. Kelly, Jim Gerlach (R-PA), and Ron Kind (D-WI) in the final version of the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2015, which was signed by President Obama on December 16, 2014. The provision codifies the definition of “normal retirement age” as either 30 years of service or the current tax code’s definition of 62 years old. Because the IRS changed its retirement definition to include only the latter description, 10,000 rural electric coop beneficiaries throughout the nation would have otherwise lost their retirement benefits, including 16 in the Third District.

The second is the passage by the U.S. Senate and signing into law of a package of extenders for multiple expiring tax incentives for propane and biodiesel which were included in Rep. Kelly’s Powering American Jobs Act. The incentives were extended retroactively through the end of 2014, which will cover the 2014 tax filing season for this year’s tax liabilities. This package was signed by President Obama this afternoon.

The third is the signing into law of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, also known as the ABLE Act, of which Rep. Kelly is a co-sponsor. The law aims to provide families of a severely disabled child with added peace of mind by allowing them to save for their child's long-term disability expenses in the same way that families of able-bodied children can currently save for college through popular 529 investment plans. 

Statement by Rep. Kelly:

“I am thrilled that our bipartisan retirement provision is now federal law. By working together and putting our constituents’ needs first, we have successfully stopped the IRS from eliminating retirement benefits for more than 10,000 rural electric co-op employees of more than 300 co-ops throughout the nation—including 16 in the Third District.

“I am also very happy to see President Obama sign into law a major portion of the Powering American Jobs Act, which will help keep taxes from being raised and help create jobs in Western Pennsylvania.

“The signing of the ABLE Act, along with its overwhelming popular and bipartisan passage in Congress, should serve as proof that with the right goals and principles leading the way, Washington can still get necessary work done for the American people.”

Statement by National Rural Electric Cooperative CEO Jo Ann Emerson:

"On behalf of our 10,000 members whose benefits were saved with the inclusion of the critical normal retirement age provision in the FY 2015 Omnibus, thank you Representative Mike Kelly for working so diligently on this major accomplishment. Our members are even further blessed this holiday season and have additional reminders to give thanks.”