WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34) supported efforts Thursday to help earthquake victims in Haiti by offering an immediate benefit to Americans who make charitable contributions to aid the region.Passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a voice vote, the bipartisan legislation (H.R. 4462) would allow individuals making a charitable contribution after Jan. 11 and before March 1 to victims of the earthquake in Haiti to claim these charitable contributions on their 2009 tax return. Absent this change, taxpayers would need to wait until next year to claim a deduction for these contributions on their 2010 tax return. The legislation awaits passage in the U.S. Senate. "The American people are responding with generosity and compassion to the devastating earthquake, donating their hard-earned money and time -- which can literally mean the difference between life and death to many Haitians and others struggling through this tragedy and devastation," Roybal-Allard said. "This measure provides an immediate benefit for those who have already given and an incentive for those who are considering a charitable contribution. We must do everything we can to help the people of Haiti while also supporting the tireless efforts of aid workers on the ground to help them." The bill would also make clear that the many taxpayers making a charitable contribution to victims of the Haiti earthquake through a text message will be able to rely on their cell phone bill when claiming a charitable donation. In addition to passing this measure, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a resolution expressing condolences to, and solidarity with, the people of Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating January 12 earthquake. "The resolution commends the efforts of the Haitian Government and the ongoing assistance of the U.S. Government, United Nations, the American people and international community in responding to this tragedy," Roybal-Allard said. "The resolution also makes clear that Congress supports whole-heartedly the Administration's efforts to provide and coordinate international humanitarian assistance and relief efforts to the affected communities." The Administration has provided an immediate $110 million toward the rescue efforts, along with about 12,000 military personnel. The Administration has also told Congress that they have the needed funds and authority for the current recovery efforts in Haiti.
********** Published: January 22, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 40