GPO/WEP Relief: Critical Time As Congress Nears Session's End

SEPTEMBER 2002
- When the Congress returns from summer recess this month (September)
and draws closer to the end of this year and its 107th Session, time
becomes critical in terms of relief from Social Security's Government
Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).
"Unfortunately time - and the lack of it - is becoming the enemy when
it comes to these issues," comments Legislative Chairman Bill Hill."After
they resume work this Fall, all of the representatives and those
senators, facing re-election in November, will be anxious to get back
home and campaign. And after the elections, there isn't much time
before the year ends and so does the session."

As
it stands now, there are several key bills in both chambers of the
Congress . While Senate bills are in the Finance Committe, House bills
are in Ways and Means.

Developments in the Senate

Since
our last report (May Voice), there have been developments on GPO and
WEP relief, particularly in the Senate. First, our Senator John Kerry
has introduced S. 2521 which is a companion bill to Rep. Barney Frank's
WEP relief legislation (H.R. 1073) which we have reported on
extensively in previous issues.

Also,
Senator Barbara Milkulski (D-MD) is working with CARE (Coalition to
Assure Retirement Equity) on more cosponsors to her GPO relief bill (S.
611). Our Association has been a long-standing CARE member.

During
the summer recess, CARE continued to lobby for more senators to join
those already signed onto the bill (35 cosponsors as of press time).
It's hoped that with a sizable number of cosponsors, more pressure
could be exerted to move S. 611 out of the Senate Finance Committee.

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