Reed Leads Bipartisan Resolution Declaring April Financial Literacy Month

 Reed Leads Bipartisan Resolution Declaring April Financial Literacy Month
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WASHINGTON, DC – Recognizing that financial literacy is key to people’s financial well-being, and to encourage more schools to offer financial literacy as part of their curriculum and raise awareness about free financial literacy resources, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee, along with U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), the Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, are leading a resolution to declare April as Financial Literacy Month. The senators are co-chairs of the Financial Literacy Caucus.


Recognized by the U.S. Senate since 2004, Financial Literacy Month is a national celebration of financial empowerment that raises awareness on the importance of financial education and providing resources to help Americans of all ages develop and maintain healthy financial habits.


It is essential that the United States strives to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds are financially literate.  Financial literacy equips individuals with the knowledge to manage budgets, navigate credit responsibly, invest wisely, and plan for their economic future.  Increasing financial literacy helps people with economic and financial decision-making to improve their effective budgeting, savings, and overall financial health and well-being and helps strengthen the economy.


“From managing a household budget to making major purchases, paying for college, starting a business, and laying the foundation for a secure retirement, financial literacy is a lifelong endeavor.  Unfortunately, too many Americans lack basic financial literacy skills to make informed decisions, and this has impacts on their children, local communities, and generations to come.  Raising awareness about the resources available to improve financial literacy is the first step on the path to a financially secure future.  I’m pleased our Senate colleagues are coming together on a bipartisan basis to recognize and celebrate the twentieth annual Financial Literacy Month,” said Senator Reed.


“Financial literacy is the cornerstone to achieving financial independence and opening the pathway to the American Dream. Throughout my time in Congress, and as the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, I’ve made it my mission to champion programs and resources that make financial education more accessible. This resolution furthers that work by helping to bring awareness to this important topic,” said Ranking Member Scott.


Cosponsors of the resolution include U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), John Boozman (D-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ted Budd (D-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Todd Young (R-IN).


The Reed-Scott resolution designating April 2024 as “Financial Literacy Month” states:


Whereas, according to the report entitled “Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2022” by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, self-reported financial well-being fell sharply and was among the lowest observed since 2016;

Whereas, according to the 2021 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households—

(1) approximately 4.5 percent of households, representing 5,900,000 households in the United States, are unbanked and, therefore, have limited or no access to savings, lending, and other basic financial services; and

(2) an estimated 14.1 percent of households, representing 18,700,000 households in the United States, are underbanked;

Whereas, according to a report entitled ‘‘Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities’’ by the National Disability Institute and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, people with disabilities were more likely to struggle with the key components of financial capability, which are making ends meet, planning ahead, managing financial products, and financial knowledge and decision making, and could benefit from targeted financial education;

Whereas, according to the statistical release of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the fourth quarter of 2023 entitled ‘‘Household Debt and Credit Report’’—

(1) outstanding household debt in the United States has increased by $3,350,000,000,000 since the end of 2019;

(2) outstanding student loan balances have increased steadily during the last decade to nearly $1,600,000,000,000; and

(3) delinquency rates increased for all debt types except student loans;

Whereas the 2023 Employer Survey of the Employee Benefits Research Institute reported that financial wellness benefits, including broad-based financial education, are a tool to improve worker satisfaction and productivity;

Whereas the 2024 Survey of the States conducted biennially by the Council for Economic Education showed that, compared to the 2022 Survey of the States, 12 more States have passed legislation requiring students to take a financial education course, resulting in 10,000,000 more students gaining access to financial education before graduating from high school;

Whereas, in 2024, research by Tyton Partners, in conjunction with Next Gen Personal Finance, found a lifetime benefit of approximately $100,000 for students who completed personal finance education in high school;

Whereas expanding access to the safe, mainstream financial system will provide individuals with less expensive and more secure options for managing finances and building wealth;

Whereas quality personal financial education is essential to ensure that individuals are prepared—

(1) to make sound money management decisions about credit, debt, insurance, financial transactions, and planning for the future; and

(2) to become responsible workers, heads of household, investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and citizens;

Whereas financial education in schools in the United States is critical to a long-term financial inclusion strategy to reach students who are not able to get sufficient personal finance guidance at home;

Whereas increased financial literacy—

(1) empowers individuals to make wise financial decisions; and

(2) reduces the confusion caused by an increasingly complex economy; Whereas a greater understanding of, and familiarity with, financial markets and institutions will lead to increased economic activity and growth; and


Whereas, in 2003, Congress—

(1) determined that coordinating Federal financial literacy efforts and formulating a national strategy is important; and

(2) in light of that determination, passed the Financial Literacy and Education Improvement Act (20 U.S.C. 9701 et seq.), establishing the Financial Literacy and

Education Commission: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) designates April 2024 as ‘‘Financial Literacy Month’’ to raise public awareness about—

(A) the importance of personal financial education in the United States; and (B) the serious consequences that may result from a lack of understanding about personal finances; and

(2) calls on the Federal Government, States, localities, schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and the people of the United States to observe Financial Literacy Month with appropriate programs and activities.

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