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WASHINGTON (AFP eWire - March 8, 2004) - The Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act has been offered as an amendment to the Manufacturing Jobs Creation Act, giving the charitable incentives bill new life and an opportunity for approval in Congress.

The amendment was filed by Sens. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), the key co-sponsors of the CARE Act over the past two years. The legislative language included in the amendment is identical to the CARE Act bill that passed the Senate in 2003 by a vote of 95-5.

While the amendment was filed on March 3, the amendment will not receive consideration for at least a couple of weeks because of other issues regarding the bill and a short congressional recess.

AFP will alert members when debate on the CARE Act is expected so they can contact their senators and urge them to vote for the amendment.

'This was a terrific move by Sens. Lieberman and Santorum,' said Paulette V. Maehara, AFP president and CEO. 'The jobs bill is almost certain to pass this year, so trying to attach the CARE Act to this legislation dramatically increases the bill's chances of passage. Once again, the charitable sector owes a big debt of gratitude to these two senators who continue to work tirelessly to see this legislation pass.'

The CARE Act includes a number of charitable giving tax incentives, most notably the IRA rollover provision, which would allow donors to transfer money from their retirement accounts to charities and avoid tax penalties. The bill also contains a limited non-itemizer deduction, increased incentives for corporate giving, and a series of enhanced deductions for gifts of food inventory, scientific and technical equipment and other items.

Read more about the CARE Act and its companion bill in the House (H.R. 7, the Charitable Giving Act).

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