Legislative Update for Week Ending January 8, 2016

Legislative Update for Week Ending January 8, 2016

This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill from the holiday recess to commence the second session of the 114th Congress. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw two key bills gain new cosponsors.

Second Congressional Session Begins

On Tuesday, lawmakers in the House and Senate returned from their home states and districts to begin the second session of the 114th Congress. The months ahead are expected to be quite slow on Capitol Hill – particularly when it comes to Social Security and Medicare issues – due to the looming November elections.

However, TSCL’s legislative team will be advocating tirelessly for legislation like the Seniors Deserve a Raise Act (H.R. 3761) and the SAVE Benefits Act (S. 2251 and H.R. 4144), both of which are urgent bills that would provide Social Security beneficiaries with a much-needed emergency cost-of-living adjustment this year.

In addition, we will continue to build support for the CPI-E Act (H.R. 3351), the Social Security Fairness Act (S. 1651 and H.R. 973), the Social Security 2100 Act (S. 1904 and H.R. 1391), the Prescription Drug Affordability Act (S. 2023 and H.R. 3513), and the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act (S. 31 and H.R. 3061), among others.

For more information on these bills or to see the full list of TSCL-backed legislation, click HERE. In addition, if you’d like to help form TSCL’s legislative agenda for the second session of the 114th Congress, be sure to participate in our 2016 Senior Survey. The results will help us inform Members of Congress, the media, and the public about the views and challenges facing seniors today.

Two Bills Gain Cosponsors

This week, one new cosponsor – Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-9) – signed on to the CPI-E Act (H.R. 3351), bringing the total up to thirty. If signed into law, H.R. 3351 would base Social Security COLAs on an inflation index specifically for seniors, resulting in more fair and accurate annual benefit increases. If the COLA were currently based on the CPI-E, beneficiaries would not have received a zero COLA this month – they would have received a 0.6 percent COLA.

In addition, one new cosponsor – Rep. Dan Donovan (NY-11) – signed on as a cosponsor to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 973). The cosponsor total is now up to 135. H.R. 973, if signed into law, would repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision – two federal provisions that unfairly reduce or eliminate the earned Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, firefighters, peace officers, and other state or local government employees each year.

TSCL enthusiastically supports H.R. 3351 and H.R. 973 -- we believe both of them would go a long way in ensuring the retirement security seniors have earned -- and we were thrilled to see their support grow this week.