legislator calls for swift house vote on bill to provide social security benefits to public service employees
Politics

Legislator calls for vote on bill to provide Social Security benefits to public service employees

policy legislation
Photo Credit: duncanandison

The Social Security Fairness Act would eliminate the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), both of which unfairly reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for millions of Americans who were public service employees.

U.S. Rep. Abigal Spanberger encouraged the House on Tuesday to vote on the bill, which, according to a press release, only 16 bills have more cosponsors than this bill of the 10,000 introduced since January 2021.

Public service employees include police officers, firefighters, federal employees and educators. Spanberger introduced the legislation with Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois in January 2021 at the start of the 117th Congress. The bill has 298 cosponsors.

Spanberger addressed a letter to U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady to advance the bipartisan legislation out of committee to receive a vote by the full U.S. House of Representatives. In her letter, she highlighted the personal stories of Virginians who have contacted her office and shared how their hard-earned Social Security benefits have been slashed by the WEP and GPO.

“Thousands of retired police officers, firefighters, federal employees, educators, and widows have contacted my office to share stories about how the WEP and GPO have harmed their financial security in retirement,” Spanberger wrote in the letter. “In Spotsylvania, a constituent retired after a 25-year career in law enforcement only to see the WEP reduce her monthly benefit by 30 percent.”

Spanberger continued: “Public servants and their families should not have their benefits held hostage as bargaining chips in entitlement reform efforts — especially when over 290 members of the US House have signed on to legislation to restore them. The 117th Congress can finally be the one that fixes this long-standing inequity and protect the benefits of retirees who dedicated their careers to public service.”

 

 

 

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.