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Inaugural Structured Settlement Caucus - an Historic Event on Capitol Hill

The Inaugural Meeting of the Congressional Structured Settlement Caucus took place on Wednesday, March 5 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The formation of the Caucus confirms that Congress recognizes structured settlements as an effective means to help injured parties put their lives together in a safe and secure manner. Christine Buechner, along with her fellow members of the National Structured Settlements Trade Association (NSSTA) Board of Directors, has been working closely with members of the House Ways & Means Committee to ensure IRC Sections 104 and 130 remain protected during the most recent tax reform. The Caucus will greatly assist in supporting this effort.

Active in NSSTAPAC over the past several years, Christine has worked to educate the members of the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee about the value of this important tax-free benefit to injured Americans. “With tax reform efforts in full swing, the Caucus could not have come at a better time. While many opportunities for increasing budget revenue exist, taxing structured settlements is not one of them.” Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, one of the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Structured Settlement Caucus, welcomed Congressional staffers, disability organization leaders and structured settlement industry leaders to the Caucus meeting stating, “this Congressional Structured Settlements Caucus has been established to highlight one of Congress’ great bipartisan policy successes during the past 30 years.” Mr. Sensenbrenner continued, “this bi-partisan Caucus is committed to help educate the Congressional community about the important role that structured settlements play in assisting injured victims to live their lives with economic security, confidence and dignity after a serious physical injury.”
Caucus Chairman and Congressman John Lewis, D-Georgia, stated, “structured settlements have always enjoyed strong bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress—for one very simple reason—structured settlements work to help injured victims live their lives with security and confidence.” Mr. Lewis said, “My good friend Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner and I organized this Caucus to help educate Members of Congress and Congressional staff on the importance of structured settlements.”

Congressman Lewis added, “Thirty years ago, Congress acted to encourage the use of structured settlements to enable injured victims to live with dignity, free of reliance on Government benefit programs and with financial security. Structured settlements constitute a private sector funding alternative to taxpayer-financed assistance programs to meet the ongoing, long-term medical expenses and basic living needs of seriously injured victims and their families, providing long-term financial security through an assured stream of payments tailored to the victim’s needs throughout his or her lifetime.”

Congressman Jim Langevin, D-Rhode Island, a Member of the Caucus, stated, “When I was a young man my life was changed forever when a police officer’s gun accidently fired and severed my spine. Without the tremendous moral support of my family and the economic security that came from my structured settlement, I would never have gone to college, never been elected to the Office of Secretary of State in Rhode Island and never been elected to Congress. I know firsthand what it means to have your life shattered, but I also know what it means to have the confidence and the security that comes from knowing your medical bills and health care costs will be paid for on time for the rest of your life.”

Fred Maahs, Chairman of the American Association of People with Disabilities and Vice Chairman of the NBS/Universal Foundation made the following statement at the inaugural meeting of the Structured Settlement Caucus. “With the American people clamoring for common-sense solutions to serious problems, structured settlements stand out as a shining success. It is a clear-cut example of Congressional policy working as intended to protect the long-term economic security and health of accident survivors and avoid the need for public assistance.”

Tony Coelho, former Member of Congress and former Chairman of the AAPD, commented “I am thrilled to be here today with two of the finest and most respected Members of Congress—Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner and Congressman John Lewis—I served with both men here in Congress and both are champions on issues important to people with disabilities.”

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