On Thursday, November 3, members, officers and personnel of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), including Executive Director Tim Lee, joined Congressman Kevin Brady for a conference call regarding his bill, H.R. 711, the Equal Protection for Public Servants Act.
Congressman Brady discussed his efforts to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and provided an update about the current status of this important piece of legislation. Brady’s bill, which he co-authored with Congressman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, would replace the current WEP formula with a new, fairer one.
Though the bill was scheduled to be heard by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee in July, a committee chaired by Congressman Brady, the bill instead was postponed until agreement from affected public servant advocacy groups could be found.
During the call, Brady reminded listeners that this is the farthest a bill pertaining to WEP repeal has gone in the legislative process since this unfair provision was passed thirty years ago.
Brady also emphasized that agreement among the coalition members—advocacy groups representing firefighters, police, teachers, public workers and retirees across the nation—is the final hurdle that must be crossed before the bill can once again move forward.
“It is critical to have a strong, unified coalition or there will be no chance to move this bill,” Congressman Brady said.
Texas is the state most dramatically affected by the WEP, according to Congressman Brady. “I have worked on for more than a decade,” he stated. “I am committed to it.”
Brady also said that he doesn’t want to wait until all of Social Security is overhauled to make changes that will benefit both current and future retirees.
While the process has not been easy for retirees or for Congressman Brady and his staff, he says he has not and will not give up hope. “We are so close to getting (HR 711) put together,” he said.
At this point, it is possible that movement on the bill may not resume until 2017 when a new Congress is seated. However, Brady stressed the need for retired and active police officers, firefighters and teachers to share their examples of how they are hurt by the WEP.
Please, if you have not done so already, share your story about the WEP has harmed you and ask your friends, family members and colleagues in other states who are impacted to share their stories as well. Your stories really help!
Send your story to WEP.email@example.com today!
Your stories help to convince lawmakers in other states not impacted by the WEP why it’s such a bad provision and why it needs to be fixed in a bipartisan way.
Members, please be sure to share this Inside Line with any active educators you know! Their retirement security will be impacted by the WEP as well! We need their support to help the bill move forward and to find a common sense solution to the problem.
Brady’s office continues to work daily to get data from the Social Security Administration as to what retirees are affected and how they would be affected by the passage of HR 711.
Let’s work just as hard and help Congressman Brady by spreading the news about the negative impacts of the WEP and by sharing our stories!
We would like to thank our members, our national coalition partners and all those who have made phone calls and sent letters on this issue. We will ask for your help again in the very near future, and we appreciate your patience and continued support.
TRTA especially thanks Chairman Brady for his tireless work on the bill, as well as Congressman Neal for his steadfast support and passionate plea for all groups to come together in agreement.
TRTA will continue to provide national leadership and help others come to the table on this critical issue. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for all the latest legislative news.
If you are not already a member of TRTA, please join today. Only by working together will we be able to resolve the WEP. If you are already a member, please encourage your fellow retirees to join and renew.
TRTA is ready to get to work on finding agreement with advocacy groups across the country, and will do so tirelessly until our members and public service retirees across the nation receive financial relief!