WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Republicans outlined the opportunities for bipartisan reforms in a Social Security Subcommittee Hearing. There, the members offered meaningful solutions to strengthen Social Security, treat our public servants fairly, incentivize work, and protect our most vulnerable.
Top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) affirmed his commitment to address the Windfall Elimination Provision, which reduces benefits for public servants across the country:
“The Windfall Elimination Provision – or WEP – is an arbitrary, one-size-fits all policy that reduces benefits for those who have spent part of their career in a job where they didn’t pay into Social Security and part of their career in a job where they did…
“I am hopeful that this Congress will be the one where we will finally address this issue. Each month that we wait costs seniors hundreds of dollars in lost benefits. And they deserve better.”
Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS) pointed out that instead of tax hikes, Congress should focus on effective bipartisan policy:
“Instead of proposing tax hikes, we should focus on targeted, effective, bipartisan policies that will improve and strengthen Social Security. There are many efforts to improve Social Security by Republicans. I hope my colleagues across the aisle will work with us on these important efforts to help the most vulnerable.”
Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) added that the Windfall Elimination Provision doesn’t treat retiring Americans fairly:
“Social Security is an important part of Americans’ retirement security, but it doesn’t always treat folks fairly. Due to policies like the Windfall Elimination Provision that we heard the Ranking Member talking about earlier, we see many individuals unable to reap the benefits of their hard-earned labor because of a one-size-fits-all calculation that fails to account for an individual’s unique work history.”
Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) emphasized the need for Congress to work together to make a solvent Social Security system for seniors in retirement or near retirement:
“We need to ensure that the federal government makes good on the promise that those who paid into this system, and need that certainty in retirement, can rely on Social Security.”
Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) raised concern for Democrats’ trillions in spending and endless government checks, and the negative effects that inflation will have on Social Security beneficiaries.
In addition, Ways and Means Republican Members introduced several bills – many of which have bipartisan support – to highlight ways Republicans and Democrats could work together to help seniors, individuals with disabilities, and their families now by improving Social Security:
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) introduced the Strengthening Social Security for Widows Act: Establishes an alternate widow benefit that will help widows from two-earner households by setting the benefits equal to 75% of the total household benefits when both spouses were living, and removes the age restriction to qualify for disabled widow benefits.
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) introduced the Providing Choice for Social Security Retirees Act: Allows Social Security beneficiaries who delay claiming benefits to receive increased benefits as a partial lump sum.
Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) introduced the Strengthening Social Security for Long Career Workers Act: Creates a new minimum benefit calculation that would increase the benefits for long career, low wage workers.
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act of 2021: Removes the penalty on earnings for certain seniors receiving Social Security benefits.
Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) introduced the Double Dip Elimination Act: Preserves Disability Insurance (DI) benefits for individuals who truly cannot work, and prevents the ability to receive DI and unemployment insurance benefits at the same time.
Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) introduced the Social Security Parity Act: Waives the 2-year duration requirement for spouse benefits if the former spouse (worker) has remarried and not yet claimed Social Security benefits.
Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV) introduced the Social Security Benefit Payments Choice Act: Allows Social Security beneficiaries to choose the date of the month when they receive their benefits.
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) introduced the Work Without Worry Act: Removes the work disincentive for young adults with disabilities to try work without having jeopardizing their future Social Security DAC benefits.