Effort Underway to Force Floor Vote on WEP/GPO Repeal

NOV 2006 - Members Urged To Call Congressmen - “This may be our last chance in ‘06 to get something done
on WEP/GPO Repeal,” states Association President Ralph White. The ‘this,” to
which White is referring, is the effort now underway in the Congress to force a
vote on WEP/GPO Repeal.

Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett has introduced a resolution
(H.RES. 987) to discharge the WEP/GPO Repeal bill (H.R. 147) from the Social
Security Subcommittee and have it go to the floor of the House of
Representatives for a vote. Texas
is one of the states, along with Massachusetts,
whose public retirees are being hurt by the WEP (Windfall Elimination
Provision) and the GPO (Government Pension Offset).

Rep. Doggett is a Democrat from Austin,
Texas. He is a member of the House
Ways and Means Committee, of which the Social
Security Subcommittee is a part.

“We call upon our members, throughout the country, to
contact their respective Congressman now and urge them to sign on as a
co-sponsor to House Resolution 987,” continues White. “Remember the Congress
ends its current session on December 31 and starts all over again in ‘07. So
please act now!”

Need 218 Signers To Resolution

By way of background, H.R. 147, originally sponsored by
Republican Congressman “Buck” McKeon from California (another WEP/GPO state),
repeals both the WEP and GPO laws and has 323 co-sponsors, which represents
almost 75% of the entire House of Representatives (435 congressmen). The entire
Mass. delegation  in the Congress supports H.R. 147.

H.R. 147 is in the Social Security Subcommittee, which is
chaired by Republican Congressman Jim McCrery of Shreveport,
Louisiana. It is noteworthy that Louisiana
is another state impacted by the WEP/GPO. Also, Congressman Richard Neal from Springfield
is a member of the Subcommittee.

H.RES. 987 orders that H.R. 147 be discharged from the
Subcommittee and be sent to the House floor for a vote. A discharge petition,
like H.RES. 987, is considered a somewhat controversial approach to getting a
vote on a bill.

“The Resolution needs 218 signers in order for the discharge
to be successful,” reports Legislative Chairman Bill Hill. “Obviously, this is
much less than the 323 who originally signed onto the Repeal bill itself.

“However, please understand it’s traditionally much harder
to get signers on a discharge petition, even among those who signed onto the
original bill that you’re trying to get discharged. You can’t assume that the
magic number of 218, needed for the discharge, will easily be reached here.

“Therefore, it’s worth repeating what Ralph earlier asked of
you. Please contact your congressman now. And, ask them not only to sign the
petition but also get their fellow congressmen to do the same.”

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