U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) is declaring next week as Social Security Fairness Week. Under House Rules, next week is the first time ever that the language of Davis’ H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act, could be voted on by the full House of Representatives. Davis has secured 299 co-sponsors on his legislation, which allows it to be considered for a floor vote under the Consensus Calendar process in the House Rules. It is up to Speaker Nancy Pelosi to allow this legislation for a vote.
“Our bipartisan ‘Social Security Fairness Act’ has reached another important legislative milestone,” said Rep. Rodney Davis. “In the next few days, we will have met the Consensus Calendar requirements outlined in the House. Speaker Pelosi must allow a vote. The millions of public service workers across this country who are being unfairly punished by the Social Security Act deserve it. That’s why a bipartisan supermajority of the House is cosponsoring our bill. Let’s get this done.”
“The ‘Social Security Fairness Act’ is ultimately about fairness to public employees who served their communities. When these public employees earn a Social Security benefit through other work, they should receive that benefit in full without being penalized because of their public service. A significant bipartisan majority of the House shares this view, and we believe this bill should be considered and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.” – Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police
“Millions of dedicated public servants, including educators, continue to be denied Social Security benefits that they earned. For years, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have talked about ending this injustice by repealing the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) penalties. Retirees across the nation deserve the full benefits they have earned. We support the Social Security Fairness Act and need Congress to finally act and make it happen.” – Marc Egan, Director of Government Relations, National Education Association.
“California Retired Teachers Association strongly supports H.R. 82, for full repeal of the WEP and GPO. H. R. 82 is a bipartisan bill that truly shows the support and efforts of elected officials reaching across the aisle to right the wrong that affects the earned benefits of public service workers and educators. The Time is Now.” – Susan Dixon, President-Elect, California Retired Teachers Association
“The Social Security Fairness Act would finally right the wrong that the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset, have inflicted on postal and other public sector workers. Together, these provisions have unfairly reduced the hard-earned Social Security benefits of Postal Workers, and many other federal and state workers. APWU applauds Representative Rodney Davis and Representative Abigail Spanberger for their work to right this wrong, and we call on Congress to immediately pass the Social Security Fairness Act and give our retirees the benefits they paid for and earned.” – Mark Dimondstein, National President of the American Postal Workers Union
“The National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA) strongly supports H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act, that will repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO). For years, the NRLCA has advocated on behalf of our retirees to eliminate these two burdensome provisions that take away and reduce retirement income for our rural letter carriers. For the longest time, despite large bipartisan support in Congress, passage remained elusive. That is until now. The NRLCA would like to thank Rep. Rodney Davis, and his efforts to get H.R. 82 to the House floor for a vote. Repeal of the GPO and WEP is long overdue, and the NRLCA urges all members of the House of Representatives to support this legislation by voting ‘Yes.’” – National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association President Ronnie Stutts
A member of Congress may file a motion with the House Clerk to place their legislation on the Consensus Calendar once their legislation has accumulated at least 290 cosponsors. If the legislation maintains at least 290 cosponsors for 25 legislative days, and the committee of jurisdiction does not report the legislation, it will be placed on the Consensus Calendar. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the authority to bring legislation on the Consensus Calendar to the floor for a vote before the full House of Representatives. (Pages 719 and 720, Rules of the House of Representatives)
Davis filed a motion on July 15, 2022, to place the Social Security Fairness Act on the Consensus Calendar. The 25-days-on-the-Calendar requirement for the legislation will be met on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. The legislation will be eligible for a vote the same day. Davis is urging Speaker Pelosi and House leadership to allow an immediate vote on this legislation.
Background on H.R. 82
H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act, eliminates the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) of Social Security Act.
WEP reduces the earned Social Security benefits of an individual who also receives a public pension from a job not covered by Social Security. For example, educators who do not earn Social Security in the public schools but who work part-time or during the summer in jobs covered by Social Security have reduced benefits even though they pay into the system just like others. WEP also affects people who move from a job in which they earn Social Security to a job, such as teaching, in which they do not.
GPO affects the spousal benefits of people who work as federal, state, or local government employees – including educators, police officers, and firefighters – if the job is not covered by Social Security. GPO reduces by two-thirds the benefit received by surviving spouses who also collect a government pension. Nine out of 10 public employees affected by GPO lose their entire spousal benefit, even though their spouse paid Social Security taxes for many years.
These unfair provisions discourage qualified, talented individuals from entering public service professions. WEP and GPO do not eliminate a so-called “windfall” for public service workers, they penalize these workers by taking away benefits they earned throughout their careers.