GPO/WEP Relief Bills Introduced In Congress

MAY 2003
- During the first months of Congress’ 108th session, legislation has
been introduced to outright repeal or otherwise reform Social
Security’s Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination
Provision (WEP). “Many familiar names appear among those who have filed
relief bills,” comments Association Legislative Chairman Bill Hill.

“That
includes our Rep. Barney Frank.” Frank’s bill (H.R. 1321) eliminates
the WEP entirely for retirees with less than $24,000 annually in
pension and S.S. benefits.

In our January Voice,
we pointed out that public retirees in several states, including
California, are hurt. It’s not surprising then that California Sen.
Dianne Feinstein (S.349) and Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (H.R.594) are
seeking to eliminate both the GPO/WEP.

As
for legislation supported by CARE (Coalition to Assure Retirement
Equity) to which our Association belongs, Louisiana Rep. William
Jefferson has introduced H.R. 887 which exempts the first $2,000 of
monthly pension and S.S. benefits from the GPO. In her bill (S.363),
Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski protects the first $1,200 monthly from
the GPO.

According to Hill, “Now the
focus must be on the House Ways and Means Committee and specifically
its Social Security Subcommittee.

“Fortunately,
that subcommittee, chaired again by Florida Rep. Clay Shaw, has several
members from California, Texas and Ohio whose public retirees are hurt
by the GPO and WEP. CARE organizations and unions in those states could
prove invaluable in getting legislation out of Shaw’s subcommittee.”

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