First, I’d like to thank all our members who participated in our calls to action earlier this week. We received notice that H.R. 82 (fully repeals the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)) was pulled for mark-up by the House Ways and Means Committee before it could go to the House for a floor vote. The House Ways and Means Committee met on Tuesday, September 20 and, ultimately, decided to send H.R. 82 without recommendation to the House. The bill was pulled from the consensus calendar and placed on the regular calendar.
What does this all mean?
While we had hoped H.R. 82 could go straight to the House floor for a vote, it has made some headway moving out of an essential committee intact. Now, it will be up to House Leadership to decide whether to introduce the bill to the full House for consideration. Aside from the uncertainty of when the House could vote on H.R. 82, the bill is now in a position that the House could debate and make amendments to the bill. In its current posture, H.R. 82 fully repeals the GPO and WEP. Although we still advocate for a full repeal, we may see amendments introduced for a partial repeal that would increase the bill’s likelihood for passage. This is due to the high costs associated with the full repeal.
With the impending November elections and lame duck session to follow, the likelihood for a floor vote remains unknown.
We will continue in the uphill battle to advocate for any and all repeal of the GPO and WEP. This year, we have made great strides to see H.R. 82 come as far as it has in the legislative process. We will also continue to keep members updated on the status of H.R. 82, should it come to a floor vote, and other legislation aimed at repealing the GPO and WEP.
Rodney R. Watson
LRTA Executive Director