Spanberger, Graves Lead 100-Member Effort Pressing for Hearing on Bipartisan Bill to Eliminate the WEP & GPO, Provide Long Overdue Fairness to Public Servants

The Bipartisan “Social Security Fairness Act” Now Has 298 Cosponsors — More Than Enough to Guarantee the Legislation Would Pass on the U.S. House Floor

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today joined U.S. Representative Garret Graves (R-LA-06) and 100 of their U.S. House colleagues in urging the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee to hold a hearing on reforms to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), like their bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 82).

The Spanberger-led Social Security Fairness Act — which now has 298 cosponsors — would eliminate both the WEP and the GPO, two provisions of the Social Security Act that unfairly reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for millions of Americans who have devoted much of their careers to public service — including federal employees, police officers, firefighters, and educators. The WEP impacts approximately 2 million Social Security beneficiaries, and the GPO impacts nearly 800,000 retirees.

In a letter to the Committee’s leadership, Spanberger and her colleagues highlighted the strong, bipartisan support for passing their Social Security Fairness Act, repealing both the WEP and the GPO, and providing direct relief to Social Security beneficiaries. Because a broad coalition of lawmakers support these reforms, the Members urged Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO-08) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA-01) to hold a hearing to hear directly from Americans who are affected by the unfair provisions and take the next step to bring the bill to the U.S. House floor for a vote.

“As supporters of H.R. 82 – The Social Security Fairness Act, we write to you today to request that the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means hold a hearing on the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset (WEP/GPO). With broad bipartisan support for a solution gaining momentum, we believe that the Committee should take advantage of this opportunity to hear directly from those who are affected by these policies,” said Spanberger, Graves, and their colleagues. “For decades, millions of public servants affected by WEP and GPO have had their retirement benefits unfairly reduced.”

Their letter continued, “A bipartisan coalition of 298 members of the House of Representatives have expressed their support for H.R. 82 by signing on as cosponsors, which would fully repeal both WEP and GPO and provide direct relief to 3% of all Social Security beneficiaries. We believe that H.R. 82 is the best solution, and we are committed to working together with Committee leadership on a fair path forward.”

Spanberger originally introduced the Social Security Fairness Act in January 2021 at the start of the 117th Congress, and she and Graves have consistently pushed for a vote on the bill.

Currently, the WEP reduces the earned Social Security benefits of an individual who also receives a public pension from a job not covered by Social Security. For example, educators who do not earn Social Security in the public schools but who work part-time or during the summer in jobs covered by Social Security have reduced benefits, even though they pay into the system just like others. Likewise, the GPO affects the spousal benefits of people who work as federal, state, or local government employees — including police officers, firefighters, and educators — if the job is not covered by Social Security. The GPO reduces by two-thirds the benefit received by surviving spouses who also collect a government pension.

Click here to read the letter, and the full letter text is below.

Dear Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Neal,

As supporters of H.R. 82 – The Social Security Fairness Act, we write to you today to request that the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means hold a hearing on the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset (WEP/GPO). With broad bipartisan support for a solution gaining momentum, we believe that the Committee should take advantage of this opportunity to hear directly from those who are affected by these policies.

We know that Committee leadership is committed to protecting America’s retirees. For decades, millions of public servants affected by WEP and GPO have had their retirement benefits unfairly reduced. Today, as costs at the grocery store and elsewhere go up, millions of Americans on fixed incomes are struggling to make ends meet. These challenges are made more acute for teachers, first responders, state employees, and others who have their Social Security benefits reduced by WEP, GPO, or both.

A bipartisan coalition of 298 members of the House of Representatives have expressed their support for H.R. 82 by signing on as cosponsors, which would fully repeal both WEP and GPO and provide direct relief to 3% of all Social Security beneficiaries. We believe that H.R. 82 is the best solution, and we are committed to working together with Committee leadership on a fair path forward. We urge you to work together to take advantage of this current momentum and take the first step toward bringing a fair legislative solution to the floor through regular order.

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