WEP/GPO Repeal: Nears Majority In House

SEPTEMBER 2004
- Efforts are still underway to push forward with a complete repeal of
both the WEP, as well as the GPO. H.R. 594, which combines the repeal
of both the WEP and GPO in a single bill, remains the target of a House
discharge petition. Still short of the 218 votes needed to force the
bill to the House floor for a vote, the bill continues to draw support
from across the country.

Now with
192 cosponsors, House Resolution 523 would force H.R. 594 to be
discharged from the Subcommittee on Social Security (chaired by Rep. E.
Clay Shaw). The bill would then be brought to the House floor for
debate and ultimately a vote.

With
the ten-year cost of a full WEP/GPO repeal pegged at $65 billion, the
House Leadership is opposed to a repeal bill passing. Following the
lead of their leadership, not a single Republican member of Congress
has signed onto the discharge petition, despite the fact that nearly
100 Republican congressmen are cosponsors of the repeal bill itself.

Currently,
the balance of power in the U.S. House goes to the Republicans with 228
members, while the Democrats fall short with 206 members. According to
the Cook Political Report, only 35 congressional races are considered
to be "competitive", meaning either party could prevail.

In
the U.S. Senate, where Republicans have a 51-48 majority, 34 Senators
face reelection in November. Of that number, 15 are Republicans and 19
are Democrats.

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