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, to date there has been no movement on any of the bills.

HR 1795 by Rep. Rodney Davis (IL) and S 896 by Sen. Mark Begich (AK) are titled the "Social Security Fairness Act of 2013,” 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 1795 was filed in April 2013 and referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. S 896 was filed in May 2013 and referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. HR 1795 has 85 co-sponsors in the U.S. House, including the following from Texas:

• Michael Burgess
• Gene Green
• Sheila Jackson Lee
• Randy Neugebauer
• Ted Poe

S 896 has 10 Senate co-sponsors, none from Texas.

Neither bill has been scheduled for a hearing.

In previous sessions, legislation has also been filed to 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. No such legislation has been filed yet in the current session.

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.

Still, 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.