Social Security WEP & GPO Forecast

JANUARY 2012 VOICE: With the Super Committee’s failure to reach a deal that would have reduced the federal deficit by at least $1.5 trillion over 10 years, will we see any major changes in either Social Security or Medicare before the November ‘12 national elections? Those changes would include any repeal or reform of Social Security’s Offset and Windfall Laws.

“You don’t have to be a Washington insider to see that unless there’s the prospect of an economic catastrophe – as we saw earlier this year with raising the federal debt ceiling – then the Congress remains paralyzed with little or nothing of much substance being done,” Association Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel comments. “I’ve been reviewing the status of the (Windfall and Offset) repeal bills with our Washington lobbyists.

“Their forecast confirms what we all suspected. With the polarization in the Congress, no change in the Windfall and Offset laws is likely before the November elections.”

Currently, there are only 121 cosponsors to HR 1332, the bipartisan sponsored WEP/GPO repeal bill, now pending in the House Subcommittee on Social Security. This is well below the overwhelming majority of cosponsors for this legislation during previous congressional sessions. Even more telling is the fact that a companion repeal bill has not been introduced in the US Senate, as we’ve seen in earlier sessions.

“Naturally, this isn’t what everyone wants to hear as we enter 2012,” continues Duhamel. “But, this Association has always prided itself on providing its members with an accurate and honest assessment on an issue –  be it federal or state.

“For more than a decade, we’ve taken the lead on pushing for WEP/GPO repeal. And, we don’t intend to stop now, even though we may be experiencing a rough road over the course of the next few months. Believe me, if the opportunity presents itself, while the Congress grapples with the budget and automatic cuts in federal programs, including Medicare, then we’ll seize it.”