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Mass. Congressional Delegation Supports WEP Reform


100% Cosponsor H.R. 4540

OCTOBER 31, 2019: Support for federal legislation aimed at reforming the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) continues to rapidly grow. The bill, H.R. 4540, now has 46 official Congressional cosponsors – including all 9 Massachusetts’ members of Congress. In addition, 23 national and state-wide organizations have also endorsed the proposal.

Unanimous support from the Mass. Congressional delegation speaks to the importance of the issue, as well as the fact that WEP reform has been marked as a priority for all 9 members. This is especially true for Congressman Richard Neal, who has used the power of his Ways and Means Committee chairmanship to carefully craft a bill viewed as viable for passage within the current Congress.

“We’ve reported this in the past, but it’s worth repeating. Passage of WEP reform is a top personal priority for Richie Neal. It’s an issue that he has long fought to reform and he’s now in a position to be able to have a real impact on the process,” says Mass Retirees CEO Shawn Duhamel, who has worked closely with Neal and his staff in developing H.R. 4540. “I don’t think that there is a single member of our Congressional delegation who has not made reform WEP a top priority.

“Even the two new members of our delegation, Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Lori Trahan, have personally approached us about WEP. Both are now helping to push H.R. 4540, along with every other member of our delegation.”

Of significance is the fact that several members of the Mass. delegation are senior members within House leadership. In addition to Neal (Springfield), Jim McGovern (Worcester) chairs the Rules Committee, Katherine Clark (Melrose) is vice chair of the Democratic Caucus.

Bill Keating (Falmouth), who has the distinction of being the first cosponsor of H.R. 4540 is a senior member on both the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees. The former MA State Rep, State Senator and Norfolk County District Attorney is also a Mass Retirees member.

South Boston’s Stephen Lynch also maintains close ties to Mass Retirees, dating back to his time as a State Rep. and State Senator. Lynch serves as a senior member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, where he chairs the Subcommittee on National Security. He is also a senior member of the Committee on Financial Services.

Congressmen Joe Kennedy, III (Brookline) and Seth Moulton (Salem) have each been active in their advocacy for WEP reform. Like his freshman colleagues, Kennedy sought to play an active role in WEP reform from the moment he arrived on Capitol Hill. In recent years, he’s worked closely with Mass Retirees officials to help build the national grassroots support needed for legislation to advance.

Similarly, Moulton has actively engaged Association officials on the WEP since taking office. He has recently worked to make information on the impact of the WEP better known to the public, especially current public employees who may one day be impacted.

“Each member of our Congressional delegation has helped get us to the point where we are now at. We believe that H.R. 4540 is a viable bill that stands a reasonable chance of passing the House and Senate during the current Congressional Session,” explains Association President Frank Valeri. “There are other bills that call for a full repeal WEP and GPO, but those are very unlikely to pass. In the 36 years these issues have been debated, not a single repeal bill has ever passed the House or Senate.

H.R. 4540 would put an additional $1,800 a year in retiree’s pockets and fix the WEP for future retirees. Passing it would bring immediate relief to nearly 2 million retirees now harmed by the WEP. Let’s get something done for our members, then work to improve upon it going forward. Otherwise, another session will have gone by with nothing to show for it.”

If your local member of Congress is not listed below, please contact their office and ask that they cosponsor H.R. 4540. Click here to find your local member of Congress.

Ways and Means Committee Members: (Cosponsors as of 10/31/19)

  • Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
  • John Larson (D-CT)
  • Danny Davis (D-IL)
  • Gwen Moore (D-MI)
  • Tom Suozzi (D-NY)
  • Steven Horsford (D-NV)
  • Dwight Evans (D-PA)
  • Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
  • Dan Kildee (D-MI)
  • Brad Schneider (D-IL)
  • Brian Higgins (D-NY)
  • Mike Thompson (D-CA)
  • Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
  • John Lewis (D-GA)
  • Suzan DelBene (D-WA)
  • Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
  • Judy Chu (D-CA)
  • Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)
  • Don Beyer (D-VA)
  • Terri Sewell (D-AL)
  • Jimmy Gomez (D-CA)

Additional Members:

  • Bill Keating (D-MA)
  • Filemon Vela (D-TX)
  • Lance Gooden (R-TX)
  • Adam Smith (D-WA)
  • Seth Moulton (D-MA)
  • Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX)
  •  Lori Trahan (D-MA)
  • Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)
  • Peter King (R-NY)
  • Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
  • Joaquin Castro (D-TX)
  • Sylvia Garcia (D-TX)
  • Jared Golden (D-ME)
  • Stephen Lynch (D-MA)
  • Jim McGovern (D-MA)
  • Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
  • Katherine Clark (D-MA)
  • Joe Kennedy III (D-MA)
  • Al Green (D-TX)
  • Robin Kelly (D-IL)
  • Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)
  • Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)

Endorsements of H.R. 4540 (As of 10/31/19)

National groups:

1. Social Security Works

2. Strengthen Social Security Coalition

3. National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM)

4. American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

5. Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

6. National Education Association (NEA)

7. American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

8. Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA)

9. National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE)

10. International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)

11. National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO)

12. Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)

13. International Union of Police Associations (IUPA)

14. United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA)

15. National Conference of State Social Security Administrators (NCSSSA)

State or Regional Groups:

16. Mass Retirees

17. New England Police Benevolent Association (NEPBA)

18. Retired Educators Association of Massachusetts (REAM)

19. Police Officers Research Association of California (PORAC)

20. Louisiana Sheriff’s Association (LSA)

21. Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA)

22. Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE)

23. Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS)

H.R. 4540 is currently before the Subcommittee on Social Security. To learn more and find out how you might be impacted if the law passes, please click here.

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