Lawmakers call for quick House vote on bill to provide social security benefits to public service employees

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The Social Security Fairness Act would eliminate the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), both of which unfairly reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for millions of Americans who were public service employees.

U.S. Representative Abigal Spanberger on Tuesday encouraged the House to vote on the bill, which according to a press release, only 16 bills have more cosponsors than this bill of the 10,000 introduced since January 2021.

Public service employees include police officers, firefighters, federal employees, and educators. Spanberger introduced the legislation with Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois in January 2021 at the start of the 117th Congress. The bill has 298 co-sponsors.

Spanberger sent a letter to U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and ranking member Kevin Brady to push bipartisan legislation out of the committee to receive a vote from the entire United States House of Representatives. In her letter, she highlighted the personal stories of Virginians who contacted her office and shared how their hard-earned Social Security benefits were cut by the WEP and GPO.

“Thousands of retired police officers, firefighters, federal employees, educators and widows have contacted my office to share stories of how the WEP and GPO have harmed their financial security at retirement,” Spanberger wrote in the letter. “In Spotsylvania, a voter retired after a 25-year career in law enforcement only to see WEP cut her monthly benefits by 30 percent.”

Spanberger continued, “Public servants and their families should not see their benefits held hostage as bargaining chips in rights reform efforts — especially when more than 290 members of the U.S. House have signed a legislation to restore them. The 117th Congress can finally be the one to right this longstanding inequity and protect the benefits of retirees who have dedicated their careers to public service.

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