U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) has secured 292 cosponsors for his Social Security Fairness Act, which repeals two titles of the Social Security Act that unfairly reduce Social Security benefits for the millions of Americans who have devoted much of their careers to public service, such as police officers, firefighters, and teachers.
On Friday, Rep. Davis filed a motion with the House Clerk to place his legislation on the Consensus Calendar. It is now up to Speaker Nancy Pelosi to place the legislation on the Consensus Calendar and bring the bill up for a vote. The language of Davis’ bill has never been voted on before in the House.
“My bipartisan ‘Social Security Fairness Act’ has reached an important milestone in the House,” said Rep. Rodney Davis. “We have secured over 290 cosponsors, which means it will be up to Speaker Pelosi to bring our bill to the floor for a vote. The Social Security Act as it exists today unfairly penalizes millions of public service workers, including police officers and firefighters, who paid taxes into the system during their careers. These unfair and egregious provisions in Social Security must be repealed. I’d like to thank my nearly three hundred colleagues in the House who have cosponsored our bill, and I urge Speaker Pelosi to call our bill for a vote once it has been placed on the House Consensus Calendar.”
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.
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)