TSCL’s Board of Trustees Visits Capitol Hill
By Jessie Gibbons, Legislative Director
In December — just before the 115th Congress came to a close — The Senior Citizens League’s (TSCL’s) Board of Trustees member and Legislative Liaison Joe Kluck traveled to Capitol Hill to thank lawmakers who sponsored key legislation that would strengthen and protect the Social Security program for current and future beneficiaries.
Mr. Kluck and The Senior Citizens League’s legislative team met with several congressional offices — including the offices of House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Phil Roe (TN-1) and House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John Larson (CT-1) — to discuss goals and strategies for the 116th Congress, which officially began on January 3rd, 2019.
The following four bills were the focus of Legislative Liaison Kluck’s meetings on Capitol Hill in December…
- The Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) Act — Congressman John Garamendi (CA-3) introduced the bipartisan CPI-E Act in the 115th Congress, and in TSCL’s December meeting with his office, he committed to re-introducing the bill once again in 2019. If adopted, his bill would enhance Social Security benefits by basing cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on an inflation index specifically for seniors. Under current law, COLAs are based on the way young, urban workers spend their money.
- The Guaranteed 3% COLA Act — Like the CPI-E Act, this critical bill would base Social Security COLAs on an inflation index for seniors. However, it would also provide much-needed financial relief to older Americans by ensuring that beneficiaries never receive an annual benefit increase that is less than 3%. TSCL was disappointed that this essential bill did not gain the support it needed to win passage in the 115th Congress, but TSCL is working to get Members of Congress onboard and the legislation moving in 2019.
- The Social Security Fairness Act — Under current law, millions of teachers, police officers, and other retired public servants see their Social Security benefits cut by hundreds of dollars due to two unfair provisions of the Social Security Act: the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision. TSCL has been advocating for the repeal of these two provisions for several years, and in our December meeting with the bill’s sponsor, Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13) said he will continue to work tirelessly towards its passage in the 116th
- The Social Security 2100 Act — In the 115th Congress, Congressman John Larson’s (CT-1) Social Security 2100 Act gained the support of more than 170 cosponsors, but unfortunately it was not brought to the House floor for a vote. In TSCL’s December meeting with Congressman Larson’s staff, he agreed to re-introduce the bill at the start of the 116th Congress, and to convene several hearings on the bill as the new Chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee in the 116th TSCL is confident that the bill will be advanced by the House of Representatives by the end of this year.
The Senior Citizens League is pleased that key Social Security bills like the four mentioned above will be re-introduced early in the 116th Congress, and we look forward to building momentum for them on Capitol Hill in the months ahead. For progress updates or for more information on these important bills, visit our website at www.SeniorsLeague.org.
The Senior Citizens League’s Legislative Liaison Joe Kluck visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday, December 4, 2018.