Neal Opening Statement at Full Committee Markup
(As prepared for delivery)
"In today’s meeting we will consider legislation aimed at addressing a longstanding Social Security problem as well as 6 resolutions of inquiry.
First we will take up H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act of 2021, which would fully repeal Social Security’s Government Pension Offset -- the “GPO” -- and the Windfall Elimination Provision – the “WEP.”
I’m intimately familiar with the issues these provisions cause for former public servants in my district and beyond. The bill we are considering today is very popular, but there are also concerns about its broader impact on the solvency of Social Security.
We are faced with a very challenging question—how to address the concerns of hardworking public servants while also safeguarding Social Security for all, and for generations to come.
I’m committed to finding a path forward and will continue working closely with Ranking Member Brady to find meaningful relief to those who have spent their lives in service of their communities.
Next, we will address several Resolutions of Inquiry that the Minority has introduced.
This Committee takes our responsibility to conduct oversight very seriously, but that’s not what these resolutions are about today. This congress, we’ve held numerous hearings with Biden Administration officials, and continue to carry out this essential function of Congress with consistent engagement with the Executive Branch. Further, it is my understanding that the Biden Administration has been very responsive to requests from Congress. This stands in stark contrast to the stonewalling we were met with from the last administration.
Instead of accepting prior responses, even if they may have not been what they wanted to hear, the minority is forcing the Committee to waste time to simply further some political talking points. Let me be clear—these resolutions have no actual legal force. This is a purely political exercise and doesn’t get at the heart of what’s ailing our country right now. There’s nothing in here that will help Americans put food on their tables, pay their bills, or take care of their families.
For these reasons I will urge my colleagues to vote to report the resolutions adversely when we turn to their consideration.
With that, I will recognize Mr. Brady for the purpose of an opening statement."