U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined colleagues in the reintroduction of the American Opportunity Accounts Act, legislation she has co-sponsored seeking to create a national program commonly referred to as “Baby Bonds.” The program will create a federally-funded savings account for every American child at birth. The funds will sit in an interest-bearing account, which can be accessed by account holders at age 18 for allowable uses like buying a home, paying for educational expenses or starting a business.
“In order to rebuild our economy equitably and address systemic racism, we must enact a bold agenda that will provide tools and resources to communities who were already hurting before the pandemic,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Not only will Baby Bonds legislation help families build intergenerational wealth, regardless of where they are from or what they look like, but it enables investment in our communities from the moment our children are born. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and in the House to get this legislation passed.”
The American Opportunity Accounts Act, also known as “Baby Bonds”, will create a new American birthright—giving every child a fair chance at economic opportunity and mobility. The legislation will create and seed a savings account of $1,000 at birth, with additional deposits of up to $2,000 each year, depending on household income. The funds will sit in an interest-bearing account, which can be accessed by account holders at age 18 for allowable uses like buying a home, paying for educational expenses or starting a business.
Over the last few years, momentum for Baby Bonds has grown in Congress and in state legislatures across the country. In just the last year, the legislation has gone from 1 to 15 Senate cosponsors, covering the full breadth of the Democratic caucus, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and state-level proposals have been introduced in multiple states. Recent studies by Columbia University and Morningstar have found that a program like Baby Bonds would substantially close the racial wealth gap in America.
Full text of the bill can be viewed here.