Although legislation has been filed in the current Congressional session to repeal or revise the federal laws that reduce Social Security benefits for many Texas school employees, there has been no movement on any of the bills.

HR 1332 by Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (CA) and S 2010 by Sen. John Kerry (MA) are titled the "Social Security Fairness Act of 2011, and would completely repeal the Government Pension Offset (which reduces or eliminates spousal Social Security benefits) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (which reduces benefits earned through the employee's own participation in Social Security. HR 1332 was filed in April 2011 and referred to the Social Security subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee. S 2010 was filed in December 2011 and referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. HR 1332 has 170 co-sponsors in the U.S. House, including the following from Texas:

  • Michael Burgess
  • Lloyd Doggett
  • Gene Green
  • Ruben Hinojosa
  • Michael McCaul
  • Ron Paul
  • Silvestre Reyes

The bill has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

HR 2797 by Rep. Kevin Brady (TX) and S 113 by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) are the House and Senate versions of the "Public Servant Retirement Protection Act of 2011". The bills would repeal the WEP in its current form and replace it with a calculation that is intended to be fairer, reducing the penalty for most affected employees. These bills have also been referred to committee (House Committee on Ways and Means/Senate Committee on Finance) but not scheduled for a hearing. HR 2797 has 7 co-sponsors, including the following from Texas:

  • Kay Granger
  • Kenny Marchant
  • Michael McCaul
  • Pete Olson
  • Ron Paul

Economic/budget issues continue to provide obstacles to passage of legislation that would reform Social Security in a manner favorable to school employees. It is likely that relief may eventually be part of a broader Social Security reform bill.

But it is vital that members of Congress be reminded of the need to eliminate these benefit reductions, and Texas educators should keep up the pressure on their elected Congressional representatives.