WEP AND GPO REPEAL GAINS SUPPORT IN WASHINGTON

MA Delegation Cosponsors Bills

FEBRUARY 27, 2008: Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has reintroduced her bill to repeal the dreaded Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO). The bill, S484, has ten initial cosponsors and is now before the Senate Finance Committee.

John Kerry (D-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Bill Nelson (D-FL) are among the more notable Senators, from key retiree states, sponsoring the bill. Kerry remains chairman of the Subcommittee on Social Security, and is now the 5th ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, which now holds S484 under review.

On the House side, 194 Representatives have now signed on as cosponsors to H.R. 235, which also would fully repeal the WEP and GPO. All ten Massachusetts Congressmen have agreed to support the bill, with all but two having formally signed on.

As has been reported in the mainstream press over the past week, President Barack Obama has pledged to move forward on a plan to stabilize and reform Social Security. Washington observers believe that negotiations on a formal proposal will begin later this year, with potential Congressional action taking place early in 2010.

Association officials are confident that WEP/GPO reform will be considered as part of the larger reform legislation and not as the individual bills now pending before Congress.

"WEP and GPO are part of the discussion around Social Security reform. But it is important for us to continue educating members of Congress, along with strengthening our national coalitions," said Association Legislation Liaison Shawn Duhamel, who is also the Association’s point man on Social Security reform. "Thankfully the Obama Administration understands this issue and wants to find a solution to help retirees."

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