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ICYMI: Committee Approves Social Security, Tax Legislation

July 20, 2018

The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), passed two bills this week aimed at enhancing online tools for Social Security beneficiaries seeking to get back to work as well as helping local newspapers continue to offer retirement savings plans for their workers.

As Chairman Brady said in his opening remarks:

“These two bills are important bills that our members have drafted to address specific needs. I congratulate the authors and cosponsors.” 

The following bills were approved by the Committee:

H.R. 3309, the Social Security Online Tools Innovation Act, sponsored by Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) and cosponsored by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI).

This commonsense proposal seeks to help Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries who want to try to return to work by requiring the Social Security Administration to develop an online tool to allow them to see the potential impact of working on their DI benefits. Consistent with current law and agency policy, a beneficiary would also be held harmless from an overpayment if an online tool provided inaccurate information.

The Committee passed the bill by a voice vote.  Chairman Johnson said:

“We’ve heard time and time again that Social Security makes it too complicated for people who want to return to work. … We need to make sure that if an individual wants to work, Social Security makes it as easy as possible.  And we can start by making sure Social Security gives beneficiaries the information they need.”

H.R. 6377, the Save Community Newspaper Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), and Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA).

This bipartisan bill aims to provide local newspapers the tools needed to continue serving their communities as they adapt to the everchanging news environment by providing them with alternative funding rules regarding their historic pension plans.

The Committee passed the bill by a voice vote. Rep. Paulsen said:

“During a time of sweeping industry consolidation and change, where newspapers are bought by larger groups and online platforms are competing with traditional print, these organizations are committed to investing in the business and ushering the business model further into the 21st century. By changing the pension funding mechanism, these newspapers will have the certainty that they need to make payments to fund their plan.”

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