Dear TRTA members and supporters,

Congress was unable to reach a compromise on a solution for the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) or the Government Pension Offset (GPO) this session. The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) has been informed that after many sessions of negotiation and hours of activity behind the scenes, congressional members could not agree on how to reach a bipartisan deal on a WEP compromise or any action on the GPO.

TRTA is incredibly disappointed with this news. We adamantly believe that Congress knows the egregious nature of the both the WEP and GPO, and that a deal on the WEP was available but rejected by House leaders. Two million current public employee retirees, including teachers and other school personnel, as well as millions more future public school teachers, firefighters, first responders, and other public workers, will continue to be impacted by the unfair and arbitrary WEP.

Congress knows the WEP is unfair. They could have and should have fixed it this Congress. TRTA will review our strategy and plan for the next congressional cycle. We will be back next year to represent our membership and work to fix the unfair and financially devastating WEP and GPO.

I want to thank all TRTA members and supporters who put the pressure on Congress to act in the lame duck session. Thousands of phone calls were made and emails sent. Many congressional offices were overwhelmed with TRTA members’ activities. You are all incredible advocates! We will endeavor to see these efforts paid back with real solutions being enacted on the WEP and GPO.

TRTA also thanks ATPE and Mass Retirees for their support and partnership on finding a solution to WEP and GPO. These organizations and their members were incredibly engaged and helped make our voices even more amplified!

We also want to thank Congressman Kevin Brady for his leadership and his staff for their many hours of time invested in making numerous proposals to other congressional leaders on how to move forward. Finally, we want to thank Texas Congressmen Lloyd Doggett and Jodey Arrington, who serve on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, for their help and service on finding a bipartisan path forward. They too have invested many hours of support on this endeavor and with TRTA directly.

The fight is not over! The communication on the WEP and the GPO hit all-time highs this Congress. We believe the day is coming that WEP and GPO will be resolved. We MUST keep up the fight! The next Congress is just weeks away, as is the Texas Legislative 88th Legislative Session.

Our voice is being heard! Many people who could and should be TRTA members still need to join in our efforts. PLEASE consider joining the team that knows how to work with this system and has the relationships needed to advance our issues.

Again, thank you for all of your help. Congressional inaction must be met with the power of organized and meaningful grassroots efforts. We can win, and we will win. Thank you for believing in TRTA and for standing with us while we advocate for your retirement security and for the issues we know you want resolved.

Wishing you the best during this joyous holiday season,
Tim Lee
Executive Director
Texas Retired Teachers Association