National News

27 Feb 2017 4:20 PM | Anonymous

Washington Watch: Legislative Update
For the Week of 20 February 2017
 
I.       Legislative News and Activity
II.     This Week in Congress
III.   Update on Top Legislative Priorities
IV.    FOP NEWS: Social Security Fairness Act Introduced in the House
V.     Follow the FOP National Legislative Office on Twitter!


I.      LEGISLATIVE NEWS AND ACTIVITY
Jim Pasco, Senior Advisor to the National President, represented the FOP at a law enforcement stakeholder meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions III.

Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson and Legislative Liaison Mike Martin met with staff in the office of Senators Gary C. Peters (D-MI) and Dean A. Heller (R-NV) regarding S. 322, the "Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act."

Senior Legislative Liaison Richardson and Legislative Liaison Martin represented the FOP on the quarterly conference call of the Blue Alert Advisory Grooup.

Legislative Liaison Martin met with staff in the office of James B. Renacci (R-OH) to discuss FOP priorities.

Legislative Liaison Martin represented the FOP at a stakeholder meeting to discuss the implementation of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).



II.     THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS
The House and Senate were recess this week in observance of President's Day.


III.       UPDATE ON TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
For the complete list of cosponsors for all of our top legislative priorities, or to find out if your Representative and Senators are cosponsors of specific bills, check out https://www.congress.gov/

A.  Support H.R. 1205, the "Social Security Fairness Act"
There are 77 cosponsors on H.R. 1205.

B.  Support the H.R. 964/S. 424, the "Law Enforcement Officers' Equity Act"
There is one cosponsor on H.R. 964.

There is one cosponsor on S. 424.



IV.      FOP NEWS: SOCIAL SECURITY FAIRNESS ACT INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE
Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed the introduction of H.R. 1205, the "Social Security Fairness Act." in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"The FOP has been pushing for this repeal for many years," Canterbury said.  "We are very pleased that Representatives Davis and Schiff are again leading the charge to repeal the WEP and GPO."
                 
The bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Rodney L. Davis (R-IL) and Adam B. Schiff (D-CA), along with more than 70 other original cosponsors.  The bill would repeal both the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) in current Social Security law.

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) affects workers who spent some time in jobs not covered by Social Security and also worked other jobs where they paid Social Security taxes long enough to qualify for retirement benefits.  The provision has a disproportionate effect on law enforcement officers, who retire earlier than most other public employees and are more likely to begin a second career after they leave law enforcement.  Officers in this position are penalized and may have their Social Security benefit reduced by up to sixty (60%) percent.

"The WEP substantially reduces a benefit that workers had included and counted on when planning their retirement and it substantially penalizes lower paid public employees with short careers or, like many retired law enforcement officers, those whose careers are evenly split inside and outside the Social Security system," Canterbury explained.  "This is a loss of benefits to which they are entitled, not an adjustment for a 'windfall.'"

Like the WEP, the Government Pension Offset was adopted to shore up the finances of the Social Security trust fund.  This "offset" law reduces by two-thirds the benefit received by surviving spouses who also collect a government pension. 

"Nine out of ten times," Canterbury said, "this so-called 'offset' completely eliminates the spousal benefit even though the covered spouse paid Social Security taxes for many years, thereby earning the right to these benefits."

"The WEP and GPO provisions do not eliminate a windfall for workers, instead they have proved to be a windfall for the Federal government at the expense of public employees.  That?s not right and it's not fair," he said.  "Congress should repeal these inequitable provisions and pass the 'Social Security Fairness Act.'"


V.      Follow the FOP National Legislative Office on Twitter!
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