This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill following a week-long spring recess, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw support in Congress grow for two key bills that would strengthen the Social Security program.
Key Social Security Bills Gain Support in Congress
This week, The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for two bipartisan bills that would strengthen and improve the Social Security program if adopted.
First, the Fair COLA for Seniors Act (H.R. 1553) gained two new cosponsors – Representative Jim McGovern (MA-2) and Representative Gwen Moore (WI-4) – bringing the total up to twenty-three. This bipartisan bill, if adopted, would base Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E).
Under current law, COLAs underestimate the inflation older Americans experience because they are based on the way young workers spend their money, using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W). By adopting the CPI-E, the Fair COLA for Seniors Act would make the COLA more adequate and better protect the purchasing power of Social Security benefits.
Second, the bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act (S. 521, H.R. 141) gained nine new cosponsors in the Senate and the House, bringing the cosponsor totals up to thirteen and 140, respectively. The new cosponsors are: Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), Senator Angus King (ME), Senator Jack Reed (RI), Senator Tom Udall (NM), Representative Susan Wild (PA-7), Representative TJ Cox (CA-21), Representative Barbara Lee (CA-13), Representative Greg Walden (OR-2), and Representative Andy Kim (NJ-3).
The Social Security Fairness Act, if adopted, would make the Social Security program more equitable by repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). These two provisions of law unfairly cut the Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, police officers, and other state or local government employees, often by one-half or more. By repealing both provisions, the Social Security Fairness Act would ensure that public servants receive the Social Security benefits they have earned and deserve.
The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for both of these bipartisan Social Security bills this week, and we thank the new cosponsors for their support. In the months ahead, The Senior Citizens League will continue to advocate for the passage of the Fair COLA for Seniors Act and the Social Security Fairness Act, and we urge Congress to enact them this year.
For progress updates or for more information about these and other bills that would strengthen the Social Security program, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website or follow TSCL on Twitter.