|A Congressional hearing has been scheduled on how Social Security’s Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) affect the benefits of retired public servants. The hearing will take place at 2:00 PM (Central Standard Time) on Monday, November 20, 2023, at the St. George Fire Department in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and will be webcast live.|
As you know, Mass Retirees joined the call urging Congress to hold public hearings. Together with Tim Lee from the Texas Retired Teachers Association, Nancy McGovern and I took that message directly to Capitol Hill while we were in Washington, DC two weeks ago. We are encouraged by the fact that Congressional leaders have responded to this call to action by scheduling a hearing this month.
The choice to hold to the hearing in Baton Rouge is likely centered on two factors: The city is within the district of Republican Congressman Garret Graves, who is the lead sponsor of HR82. Louisiana is also the home state of new House Speaker Mike Johnson, who is also a cosponsor on HR82. That said, it is worth pointing out that the hearing is not on any particular legislative proposal, but rather on the specific harm being caused to retirees by the WEP and GPO laws.
Oral testimony is by invitation only, which is customary for Congressional hearings.
Members of the public may view the hearing via live webcast available at https://waysandmeans.house.gov. The webcast will not be available until the hearing starts on 11/20.
Mass Retirees will submit a statement for the public record. We encourage retirees and active public employees subjected to the WEP and GPO laws to submit a written statement on how you are personally impacted by these laws.
According to the rules of the Committee: “Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit written comments for the hearing record can do so here: WMSubmission@mail.house.gov. Please ATTACH your submission as a Microsoft Word document in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by the close of business on Monday, December 4, 2023. For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-3625.”
This hearing represents a significant step toward Congressional action to end the WEP and GPO laws. It also serves as a testament to the hard work of public retirees across the country who are continuing to pressure Congress to act.
The hearing announcement follows a news report by CNBC on WEP/GPO that was published this past weekend. It is one more indication that the pressure being placed on Congress to act is gaining national momentum. Read the CNBC article here.
As I said in last Friday’s message, while relief from WEP/GPO is years overdue, we will not give up on this fight. The determination of retirees here in Massachusetts, as well as from around the country, will ultimately win the day!
Chief Executive Officer
Mass Retirees Association