Action Alert #89 – Keep H.R. 711 Going and Vote for Social Security Strength!
· Send WEP/GPO comments to the Ways and Means Committee ASAP! WEP.email@example.com
· Presidential candidates positions on Social Security
Trump and Clinton on Social Security:
If you or your friends or family have not yet voted, here is a link to the positions that Clinton and Trump have taken on Social Security. The Forbes article linked below seems to be a fairly balanced description of the candidate’s and their party’s positions on Social Security:
Important Update by Congressman Brady on HR 711 (WEP)
Below is part of a letter that we received from the Texas Retired Teachers Association, which has been working diligently to repeal both the WEP and the GPO. Texas Congressman, and now Chairman of the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means, Kevin Brady, has been trying for years to change the formula for the WEP, coordinating it more with a person’s lifetime earnings. There are differing opinions about how this complicated bill will work, but Congressman Brady is keeping it going.
Congressman Brady Talks HR 711, WEP with Retirees
On Thursday, November 3, members, officers and personnel of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), including Executive Director Tim Lee, joined Congressman Kevin Brady for a conference call regarding his bill, H.R. 711, the Equal Protection for Public Servants Act.
Congressman Brady discussed his efforts to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and provided an update about the current status of this important piece of legislation. Brady’s bill, which he co-authored with Congressman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, would replace the current WEP formula with a new, fairer one.
Though the bill was scheduled to be heard by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee in July, a committee chaired by Congressman Brady, the bill instead was postponed until agreement from affected public servant advocacy groups could be found.
During the call, Brady reminded listeners that this is the farthest a bill pertaining to WEP repeal has gone in the legislative process since this unfair provision was passed thirty years ago.
Brady also emphasized that agreement among the coalition members—advocacy groups representing firefighters, police, teachers, public workers and retirees across the nation—is the final hurdle that must be crossed before the bill can once again move forward. “It is critical to have a strong, unified coalition or there will be no chance to move this bill,” Congressman Brady said. Texas is the state most dramatically affected by the WEP, according to Congressman Brady. “I have worked on for more than a decade,” he stated. “I am committed to it.”
Brady also said that he doesn’t want to wait until all of Social Security is overhauled to make changes that will benefit both current and future retirees.
While the process has not been easy for retirees or for Congressman Brady and his staff, he says he has not and will not give up hope. “We are so close to getting (HR 711) put together,” he said.
At this point, it is possible that movement on the bill may not resume until 2017 when a new Congress is seated. However, Brady stressed the need for retired and active police officers, firefighters and teachers to share their examples of how they are hurt by the WEP.
Please, if you have not done so already, share your story about the WEP has harmed you and ask your friends, family members and colleagues in other states who are impacted to share their stories as well. Your stories really help!
Send your story to WEP.firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Your stories help to convince lawmakers in other states not impacted by the WEP why it’s such a bad provision and why it needs to be fixed in a bipartisan way.
Brady’s office continues to work daily to get data from the Social Security Administration as to what retirees are affected and how they would be affected by the passage of HR 711. Let’s work just as hard and help Congressman Brady by spreading the news about the negative impacts of the WEP and by sharing our stories!
The recent death of one of our long-time organizers, who never got to see his full Social Security benefits, reminds us of the urgency of our cause.
In order to see change, Congress needs to understand our plight, not only the damage from the WEP, but also from the GPO. Many of them are not aware that these offsets affect retirees in EVERY STATE. We now have more than 4,200 activist members on our Social Security Fairness list. If all of us speak out, we can make them hear us!