Shawn Duhamel Meets With US Senator John Kerry In 2010.

Takes Lead In Senate With Maine’s Collins

JANUARY 10, 2012: Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has filed legislation calling for the full repeal of the dreaded Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). S2010, cosponsored by Republican Susan Collins of Maine, places Kerry in a leading role on the issue of Social Security fairness.

In the past, WEP/GPO repeal legislation had been carried by California Senator Dianne Feinstein. However, with the hope of a larger Social Security reform measure advancing, Feinstein did not refile the repeal bill for the 2011-2012 Congressional Session.

“We thank Senator Kerry for stepping up and filling the leadership void that existed in the Senate to repeal the WEP and GPO. And the fact that Senator Collins is the lead cosponsor of S2010 speaks to the fact that this is indeed a bipartisan issue,” said Association Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel. “Given the state of affairs in Washington, DC., it is unlikely that anyone can muster the 60 votes needed to pass the bill in the Senate at this time.

“Even if we were able to get something through the Senate, it would be DOA in the House, where some key members of Leadership have indicated support for Social Security privatization. We still feel the most likely scenario for WEP/GPO repeal rests within a large Social Security reform bill. But, unfortunately, any serious chance of that happening is going to have to wait until after the November elections. Meanwhile, we’ll keep up our grassroots efforts to bring attention to this matter and thank Senator Kerry for his work at keeping the issue alive.”

Within the House, California Republican Howard “Buck” McKeon has filed HR1332, which now has 134 cosponsors. Nine of Massachusetts’ 10 Congressmen have signed onto the bill. And Rep. Richard Neal is expected to soon join the list of sponsors.

A request has also been made to Senator Scott Brown to sign on as a cosponsor with Kerry on S2010. Further information on our efforts surrounding the WEP/GPO will be included in the next (March 2012) edition of the Voice.