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U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Social Security’s Disservice to Public Servants

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Retirement | TRS | Social Security Congress | Federal

Date Posted: 11/21/2023 | Author: Monty Exter

With H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act of 2023, currently sitting at 300 co-sponsors, the third most of any bill currently pending in Congress, the movement to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) is currently surging. In response, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee hit the road this week to hold a rare subcommittee field hearing outside of Washington, D.C., meeting on Monday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to discuss how the WEP and GPO mistreat government workers.

The hearing opened with a statement from Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO):

We are here today to listen to Americans who have been mistreated by flawed provisions within the Social Security program. These provisions have done a disservice to many who chose to work for their communities as firefighters, police officers, teachers, and other public servants. These are the men and women who protect our streets, teach our children, collect the trash, repair the power lines, pave the roads, and more. They work tirelessly to improve the lives of their neighbors and their communities. Like all working families, they deserve a secure retirement. Yet, we are here in Louisiana because that retirement is far from secure.

Smith went on to identify: “The core of this issue is fairness. Congress must find a bipartisan way to provide public servants with the fair treatment that they deserve.”

The committee heard testimony from four public servants: Patrick Yoes, retired Louisiana law enforcement officer and national president, Fraternal Order of Police; Ann Dugas, retired Louisiana state employee; Bernard “Bernie” Piro, retired Louisiana firefighter; and Paula Porter, retired Louisiana educator.

H.R. 82 author Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) compared the action of Congress regarding WEP and GPO to embezzlement and indicated that now is the time to push the gas on repeal efforts.

One of his fellow members of the Louisiana delegation, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA), stated that he “does not care how much it costs to correct this issue—the money being used is not Congress’ money, and it belongs to the people who have earned it.” Higgins went on to say that “If a law, even a well-intentioned law, becomes unrighteous, you eliminate the law, and that is what we’re going to do,” and that he “is encouraged by the direction this Congress is taking to eliminate WEP/GPO.” 

Although the hearing is over, members of the public may still submit written comments for the hearing record through Dec. 4 following these specific instructions.



Nicholi Hoskins

I absolutely loved the comment," the money being used is not Congress'' money, and it belongs to the people who have earned it." I get $100 a month from the Social Security I paid in from all the extra jobs I had to get to make ends meet as a teacher when I was younger. That $100 goes to help pay for my Medicare.

Jorge O Perez

great please do away with WEP and GPO!!!

Madeleine Myers

I wonder if there is even a slight chance that those of us who have already been hurt by having their earned social security benefits decimated will have them retroactively restored. Even a partial restoration would be much appreciated.

John Thomas

An open comment to legislators. You have taken $90,000 from me since retirement if my information is correct which I think it is. This is my money not yours. I am a veteran of a foreign war, how about you. This is dispickable. You should be ashamed. You’re getting more than your share taking it from people like me. Thank you, John Thomas USMC

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