Louisiana Representatives Join Forces for House Vote on Social Security Fairness Act

WASHINGTON, DC (KALB) – Louisiana Representatives Julia Letlow (R-District 5) and Garret Graves (R-District 6) held a press conference today to announce an effort to push the Social Security Fairness Act (HR 82) forward after it was passed. postponed for a vote by the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday.

HR 82 seeks to abolish the penalty for employees on state pensions and their spouses, as it applies to Social Security benefits. Those workers include more than 2 million retired government employees such as law enforcement officers, teachers and state workers. Current legislation, known as the Windfall Elimination Penalty (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO), was implemented in the 1980s, preventing government employees from receiving full Social Security benefits.

Now several House members, including Letlow and Graves, are pushing for HR 82 to be heard before Congress after it was postponed on the House committee.

Speaking to The Daily Advertiser, Letlow and Graves say the current law penalizes people for going into public service and cheating Americans out of benefits they have earned and paid.

Opponents of the bill, however, argue that repealing the law will put more strain on Social Security and its future.

“The money from these people has been stolen. It was stolen and diverted to blow up the Social Security trust fund,” Graves said. “Yes, there is a fundamental problem with the trust fund that needs to be addressed. But these people’s money has been stolen for 40 years. Tell me, this thing costs money. Yes, it costs them money that they paid. This is an injustice.”

At a news conference this morning, Letlow and Graves joined the bill’s author, Illinois Democrat Rodney Davis, to announce an effort to get 218 signatures among peers to force a ground vote.

“I want the American people to hear us out loud that we will continue this battle until it is resolved,” Letlow said.

After the House committee vote on Tuesday, members of Congress were not the only political leaders to react to the result. State Representative Mike Johnson (R-District 27) took to social media and wrote: “While I am disappointed with the leadership and how the will of the people has been procedurally denied, I am encouraged that this issue has received unprecedented national attention and unity among Americans who have served the public as vital workers who have paid to Social Security but have been denied their deserved benefits.

Johnson continued: “While it wasn’t a win today, I am confident we are much closer to revoking the unfair WEP and GPO benefits owed to our teachers, police, firefighters, first responders, letter bearers and public retirees. .”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet scheduled a ground vote for the legislation. It is not yet clear whether supporting members will receive the support to put the bill to the vote.

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