Alert #66 – New Congress, New Bill, Time for Action!
The House of Representatives and the Senate are starting on the two-year “114th Congress,” and new bills are being proposed. There are calls from all quarters saying that this is the year that something must be done for the solvency of Social Security. Some calls are suggesting cuts to benefits, others are demanding that benefits be increased.
There are new members of Congress, new aides, and new websites.
- Go to house.gov and find your representative in Congress.
- Bookmark their website.
- Call Washington and complain.
- Call their local office and complain, at least once a month.
- Find the person in their D.C. office who is in charge of legislation.
- Send them postcards (which get through security more easily) and email them.
- Make an appointment with their district office and talk to your Congressperson or the person in charge of their office. Do the same for your Senators.
This is a vital issue. Laws prevented you from earning Social Security benefits while you were working as a public servant, and when you retired, other laws prevented you from collecting the benefits you had paid for in other work or had earned as a dependent. This is SO wrong. Tell them your story. As they look at Social Security this year, the offsets must be repealed.
Last week Kevin Brady (R-Tex) introduced this bill which would reportedly lessen the effects of the WEP, but not eliminate them, H.R. 711. Future retirees would benefit more from this bill than current retirees. Congressman Brady has submitted modified WEP formulas in pervious years to make it what he calls “more fair.” The text of the bill has not yet been published, and we will wait until we see it to begin to study it in detail. (You will be able to find it at congress.gov)
This bill is complex. As we decide whether or not to support it and how, we need to get more information from you. In a week or so, we will send you a SURVEY that will give us more information on the real effects of the offsets. Please be ready to tell us, as closely as you can, the amount of your government pension, per month, and the amounts you lose to the GPO or WEP. Also, if relevant to you, the years you paid into Social Security and the number of years you were a dependent spouse (not working or working part time). How many years have you been retired? What changes to your retirement plan have you had to make because of the offsets? It will be totally anonymous, of course!
The California Retired Teachers Association will be in Washington D.C. talking to all the representatives from that state on April 15. There will be group discussions and training around this issue. Members of Social Security Fairness from CA and other states are invited to join in the effort. If you are interested, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Facebook page is booming: Social Security Fairness – Repeal the GPO/WEP
Our website, ssfairness.org, is getting many hits.
Our email list of activists is more than 3,000. Thank you!