The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act (H.R. 711) received a major setback in its hearing under the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee today. The bill, which seeks to reform the harmful Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), was scheduled to receive a vote, but was postponed indefinitely due to push back from various public worker organizations.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R – The Woodlands) expressed his disappointment for the bill’s exemption from the committee meeting. He stated that an agreement could not be formed among advocacy organizations, and that this disagreement is the cause of the bill’s postponement.
“We need the community to come together,” said Brady. “We will postpone consideration of H.R. 711 until agreement is found.”
Meanwhile, many retired and active educators will continue to lose hundreds of dollars per month until an agreement is reached. The inaction on H.R. 711 today was a major setback for reforming the WEP, including any real discussion about a full repeal.
Some public worker advocacy groups recently have called for the dismissal of H.R. 711 and support only a full repeal of the WEP. These actions have done a tremendous disservice to public education employees especially, the largest group of public servants impacted by the provision.
Congressman Richard Neal (D –Massachusetts) also expressed his dismay at the bill’s postponement. He pointed to the need for those in various public service communities to come together on this issue.
While we are disappointed at TRTA about today’s postponement, we want our members to know that we are not giving up on H.R. 711!
Now is NOT the time to assume progress on the WEP is lost; in fact, the CLOCK IS TICKING. Congress reconvenes in September and we have no time to waste to get H.R. 711 back on track for a committee vote!
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 some financial relief!
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 be asking for your help again in the very near future, and we ask for 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 to stay up-to-date on all our legislative news.