(House of Representatives - June 25, 2013)

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[Pages H4006-H4008]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                              {time}  1740

  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules 
and pass the bill (H.R. 2289) to rename section 219(c) of the Internal 
Revenue Code of 1986 as the Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 2289

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       The heading of subsection (c) of section 219 of the 
     Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is

[[Page H4007]]

     amended by striking ``Special Rules for Certain Married 
     Individuals'' and inserting ``Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal 

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Sam Johnson) and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Doggett) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.

                             General Leave

  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their 
remarks and to include extraneous material on the subject of the bill 
under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Today we are considering legislation to rename the Spousal IRA the 
``Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA,'' and I want to thank my colleagues 
from both sides of the aisle for cosponsoring this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, a fellow Texan, an extraordinary woman and the first 
Texas female United States Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison established 
during her time in the Senate a long and distinguished record of 
service to the great people of Texas and to Americans across our 
Nation. A fitting example of the Senator's service is her successful 
effort to help families save for retirement.
  Back in 1993, Senator Hutchison first led the effort to change an 
unfair tax rule that limited the ability of homemakers to fully 
contribute to their own personal retirement accounts known as IRAs. At 
that time, homemakers could only put aside $250 in an IRA as opposed to 
$2,000, the maximum allowed for the working spouse. In response, 
Senator Hutchison introduced legislation allowing homemakers to fully 
contribute to their own accounts.
  In 1996, Congress passed legislation that included the Senator's 
proposal to do just that. As a result, homemakers are no longer 
penalized for undertaking the important work of raising a family when 
it comes to saving for retirement. As the Senator said back in 1996:

       There is no question in my mind that the work done inside 
     the home is as much a part of the American family, if not 
     more important to the American family, than the work done 
     outside the home.

  I can't think of a better way to recognize the now former Senator's 
efforts to make it easier for families to achieve retirement security 
than by renaming the Spousal IRA the ``Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal 
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, I thank our colleague from Dallas, Texas 
(Mr. Johnson) for his leadership on this matter.
  This spring in another part of Texas in San Antonio, with the 
committed leadership of Katy Flato, we had our first-ever Bexar County 
edition of the Texas Book Festival. Among the many authors who were 
celebrated there, an active presence to make this book festival a 
success, was our United States Senator and New York Times best-selling 
author, Kay Bailey Hutchison, who presented her new book, ``Unflinching 
Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas.''
  In this book, she takes a look at other women who have made Texas and 
this Nation what it is today. She tells some incredible stories from 
Jane Long, who's often called the Mother of Texas, and her delivery of 
her own baby on a beach, to the tale of Margaret Houston, the wife of 
the hero of Texas, Sam Houston, who reportedly had an operation to 
remove a tumor, bit on a silver coin, survived and had six more 
  Senator Hutchison was a pioneer in her own right. She graduated, as 
my colleague said, from the University of Texas School of Law in 1967 
when the number of women in the graduating class was in single digits.
  As the first Republican woman to be elected to the Texas House of 
Representatives, she served there and in the Texas Constitutional 
Convention where I had an opportunity to get to know her as another 
member of that convention, as well as her husband, Ray Hutchison, who 
served with distinction in the House of Representatives. She is to date 
our only woman to have represented Texas in the United States Senate.
  We're grateful for her long service, her willingness to work with 
Members of both parties, and in San Antonio we're particularly 
grateful, as well, for her service as it relates to the San Antonio 
River and the expansion of the River Walk.
  When she first came to the Senate in 1993, she began working on 
legislation to help women take charge of their own futures, and one 
part of that is the Spousal IRA. The bill was the product of her own 
personal experience. When she married Ray, she learned that she could 
no longer contribute $2,000 to her retirement annually, but was limited 
to $250.
  Early on, she approached Senator Barbara Mikulski about becoming the 
Democratic lead sponsor on the Spousal IRA bill. Together, Senator 
Hutchison, working in a bipartisan manner with Senator Mikulski, got 
the legislation approved as a part of the Small Business Job Protection 
Act of 1996.
  The Spousal IRA that became law is an important tax benefit for stay-
at-home spouses. It allows the stay-at-home spouse to make a full IRA 
contribution to the stay-at-home spouse's own IRA, even if a husband or 
wife has made a full contribution to the working spouse's IRA.
  At a time when too many people are not saving enough to provide a 
secure requirement, this measure helps many contribute to ensure that 
they have a full retirement. Under the rules in place before, that 
limitation would have been a very nominal $250. Under Senator 
Hutchison's legislation, the contribution can now go up to $5,500, a 
big contribution, each year.
  So I think it's very appropriate that we honor Senator Hutchison here 
with the naming that is proposed.
  I reserve the balance of my time at this point.

                              {time}  1750

  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Brady), a member of the Ways and Means 
Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on Health.
  Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, Chairman Johnson, thank you for your 
leadership on this issue and, Mr. Doggett, for your eloquent support.
  When American families are fortunate enough to have children, they 
often face an important decision: Can they afford to have one parent 
stay at home to care for the children or is it financially necessary 
that both parents continue to work outside the home? If they choose to 
have one parent stay home, it is often a great financial sacrifice that 
affects not only their day-to-day living but their retirement security 
as well.
  I believe the government should support their decision by encouraging 
them to save for their retirement by using the Spousal IRA tax 
provision which became law in 1996. This provision brings a measure of 
equality to the Code and allows parents to contribute to IRA retirement 
accounts whether they work outside the home or not.
  While the Spousal IRA provision was included in the Contract for 
America and the Contract with the American Family, it only exists today 
because of our dear friend and former Texas Senator, Kay Bailey 
  Years ago, she recognized the unfairness of the Tax Code to those 
moms and dads who chose to stay home with their children, even if it 
meant missing out on the usual tax incentives enjoyed by those with 
outside jobs who were putting money away in a traditional IRA as a nest 
egg. Well, stay-at-home parents didn't have that IRA option, so Senator 
Hutchison went to work to balance the scales a little for those 
  I remember Senator Hutchison for years tirelessly crisscrossing the 
State of Texas and lobbying her colleagues in the House and the Senate 
for a spousal IRA because it was the right thing to do for our families 
and families across the country. She never stopped raising awareness of 
this inequity and never gave up. I think all of us would agree that 
``never giving up'' is a Kay Bailey Hutchison hallmark.
  She also turned her incredible energy to getting it passed in 
Congress. She

[[Page H4008]]

was finally and justifiably successful in 1996, working across the 
aisle with leaders like Dick Armey and the chairman of the Ways and 
Means Committee, Bill Archer; but also signed by and supported by 
President Clinton.
  Since that time, millions of American children have benefited from 
their stay-at-home parents, and their parents have benefited from 
Senator Hutchison's magnificent work to bring some retirement fairness 
to these wonderful families.
  Therefore, I join with my colleagues to urge them to vote in support 
of renaming the Spousal IRA section of the Tax Code the Kay Bailey 
Hutchison Spousal IRA. It is an honor much reserved for the one person 
most responsible for its existence.
  Mr. DOGGETT. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Burgess), a member of the Energy and Commerce 
  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. It is a 
pleasure to join my friends from Texas on the floor today to honor 
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and the work that she did with creating 
the Spousal IRA.
  Look, back in the 1990s, I was just a regular guy practicing medicine 
back home in Texas. What did I know about this stuff? Well, not much. 
But what I did know was that for the 15 years that I had been in 
private practice, my wife and I had shared our contribution to our IRAs 
every year. That meant each of us was able to deposit $1,100 every year 
into the IRA account.
  Well, I've got to tell you, it's pretty frustrating to try to save 
for retirement when every year your contribution is limited to that 
rather austere amount. So it was a very big day, and I remember that 
day when we actually both were able to make the full contribution to 
our IRA accounts, and it was because of the hard work done by Senator 
  She never forgot her constituents back in Texas. She never forgot 
women--yes, women in the workforce, but also those women who were 
exercising their option to spend all of their energies raising their 
children and raising their families. It was a great day for Texas, for 
Texas constituents when that tax bill was passed, and we are very 
grateful to Senator Hutchison for her leadership. It is appropriate 
that we honor her tonight with the naming of the Spousal IRA in her 
  Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, to close briefly, last fall Senator Cornyn 
hosted a memorable bipartisan dinner honoring Senator Hutchison 
appropriately in the LBJ Room here in the Capitol, where all of us who 
are gathered here today, and a number of our colleagues, joined in 
honoring Senator Hutchison. At about the same time, Senator Mikulski 
introduced a resolution in the Senate to accomplish the same objection 
as this resolution. I hope the Senate will act promptly to approve this 
legislation. It has strong bipartisan support because this is an 
important measure to ensure more retirement security provided by a 
Texas leader of which those of us of both parties can take pride.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. I want to thank my colleague, Mr. Doggett, 
for his words.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill in honor of 
Senator Hutchison's commonsense effort to make it easier for families 
to save for retirement.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARCHANT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of renaming the 
``Spousal IRA'' so that it carries the name of its champion--my friend 
and fellow Texan--Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
  This bill was a product of Senator Hutchison's personal experience 
before joining the Senate. After putting aside money for her retirement 
as a single working woman, Senator Hutchison found that she could only 
put aside $250 in an IRA once she married her husband.
  When Senator Hutchison was elected to the Senate in 1993, she led the 
effort to change this discriminatory part of our tax code, and worked 
to pass the ``Spousal IRA''.
  Senator Hutchison has said that, over the course of her 19 years in 
the U.S. Senate, this law is the accomplishment she is most proud of. I 
think it is therefore fitting that we should amend the tax code so that 
women in America know that they're benefitting from the Kay Bailey 
Hutchison Spousal IRA.
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to support H.R. 
2289, introduced by Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX).
  This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to rename the section 
heading of provisions relating to the individual retirement accounts 
(IRAs) of married individuals as the Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA.
  Senator Hutchison, from Texas, along with Senator Mikulski, co-
authored the now 15-year-old law that allows homemakers to make the 
same deductible contributions to their IRA as salaried workers. The 
Spousal IRA was one of Senator Hutchison's proudest achievements while 
in Congress.
  I thank Senator Hutchison for her years of service to the U.S. 
Senate. I believe this is a fitting tribute for her championing of this 
issue. I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 2289 to honor Senator 
  Mr. OLSON. Mr. Speaker, its a pleasure to recognize my colleague and 
friend, former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, for her efforts to help 
women. Her many contributions include her success in changing federal 
law to help women save for retirement. Her efforts expanded the 
availability of Individual Retirement Accounts for women, regardless of 
their family or work status, to set aside money for retirement.
  Senator Hutchison's success in changing the tax code to help stay-at-
home spouses underscores the family values that are critical to our 
nation. Americans should not be limited by federal law when they work 
at home to raise children and help their families.
  Senator Hutchison deserves recognition for her support of American 
families. I was a cosponsor of H.R. 2289, to rename section 219(c) of 
the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as the Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal 
IRA. I applaud Senator Hutchison and thank her for the exceptional work 
she has done on behalf of the State of Texas.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Sam Johnson) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 2289.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.