Legislative Update for Week Ending August 23, 2019

Legislative Update for Week Ending August 23, 2019

Congress was on recess this week, but that didn’t stop the wheels from turning on Capitol Hill.  This week the League met with Congresswoman Grace Meng’s office (NY-6) to discuss Notch Reform Legislation.  And, a special shout out to Congressman Joe Neguse (CO-2) for signaling his support of several key pieces of legislation by co-sponsoring them.

Congresswoman Meng has been a staunch supporter of Notch Reform Legislation. We met with her office this week to see if she intended to re-introduce her Notch Fairness Act into the 116th Congress.  If passed into law, the legislation would allow for a modest settlement to individuals born between the years 1917 – 1926.  Why?  Just years before these individuals were set to retire, they learned that they would have significantly lower benefits than they originally anticipated.  The issue was created by the amendments to the Social Security Act that were signed into law in 1977.  The problem of the decrease has, of course, compounded over time.  In order to correct the disparity, Congresswoman Meng’s office will introduce legislation (as she has done in the past) to compensate the victims of these amendments.

Several key bills focusing on Social Security saw increases in support this week.  H.R. 1553, The Fair COLA for Seniors Act increased to 31 co-sponsors with the addition of Congressman Joe Neguse (CO-2) lending his support.  This legislation, if passed would base the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), rather than the current formula of the CPI-W.  The League tracks the difference between the CPI-E and the CPI-W and nearly always the CPI-E would provide a higher benefit.

Congressman Neguse also provides co-sponsorship to H.R. 141, The Social Security Fairness Act. This bill repeals the Government Pension Office and Windfall Elimination Provision that affects the Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, police officers and other state and/or local government employees.  The number of co-sponsors for this legislation now stands at a whopping 196 co-sponsors. This legislation comes close to having the widest bi-partisan support of any other proposed amendment to the Social Security Act.

Rounding out the week was the addition of Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-36) to H.R. 275, The Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act.  If passed, The Secretary of Health and Human Services would be required to negotiate covered Part D drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries.  This legislation now stands with 38 co-sponsors.

For more progress updates or for more information about these issues, and other bills that would strengthen the Social Security program and make improvements to Medicare, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website or follow TSCL on Twitter.