WASHINGTON, D.C. – Top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Top Republican on the Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) opened today’s Subcommitee Hearing to discuss address one of Republicans’ top priorities: to work with Democrats to strengthening and improving Social Security for hard working Americans without devastating tax increases.
Rep. Brady said:
“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. Reed said:
“As we will be reminded today, Social Security is too important to not work together – Americans expect and deserve bipartisan efforts to fix Social Security and make sure it works for today’s workers, seniors, and their families.”
- Successful Social Security reform can only be done on a bipartisan basis.
- Republicans want to improve Social Security to incentivize work and protect our most vulnerable.
Rep. Tom Reed’s opening remarks as prepared appear below.
Thank you, Chairman Larson, for holding today’s hearing and to our witnesses for being here and sharing your personal stories about why Social Security is so important.
As many of you know, Social Security is very important to me and was a lifeline for my own family.
My mother, Betty Barr Reed, raised me and my 11 siblings on her own after my father passed away when I was two years old. Thankfully, we were able to count on Social Security check and my father’s military life insurance death benefit. And without it, I do not know what my mother would have done. My story is familiar to so many Americans who depend on Social Security.
And at this time, I would like to yield to my good friend, Ranking Member Brady, to say a few words and introduce the Texan on today’s panel.
Thank you, Ranking Member Brady.
As the Republican Leader for Social Security, I care deeply about making sure that Social Security is protected for today’s beneficiaries and can be counted on for generations to come.
My Republican colleagues on this subcommittee are also committed to protecting Social Security, and we want to work with the Majority to address the challenges the program faces. And as you will hear today, many of them have ideas on ways to improve Social Security and make sure it is helping people as intended.
As we will be reminded today, Social Security is too important to not work together – Americans expect and deserve bipartisan efforts to fix Social Security and make sure it works for today’s workers, seniors, and their families.
I’m confident the Members on this Committee can work together to do just that. In these times of hyper-partisanship when no one in Washington can seem to work together, I believe this Committee can lead the way by working on small changes to make a meaningful difference for Social Security beneficiaries. And after working together to tackle small changes, I’m hopeful that we can then work together on a bipartisan basis to make sure Social Security is there for all Americans for generations to come.
Mr. Chairman, I look forward to working with you and hearing from our witnesses today.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, with that I yield back.
Rep. Brady’s opening remarks as prepared appear below.
I want to thank my good friend Ranking Member Reed for inviting Dr. Mary Widmeir to join us today to share her story. Like many Texas teachers, Dr. Widmeir’s Social Security benefits are reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision.
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.
For years I have worked with Chairman Neal to fix the WEP and make it fair for our teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public servants who serve our communities.
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.
I look forward to working with Chairman Neal and all my colleagues to finally make sure our teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public servants are treated fairly. And I yield back.