Legislative Update for Week Ending November 24, 2017

Legislative Update for Week Ending November 24, 2017

This week, lawmakers in the House and Senate adjourned for a weeklong holiday recess and The Senior Citizens League continues to see support grow for key bills. In addition, the staff of The Senior Citizens League would like to wish all of our supporters and members a Happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Lawmakers Adjourn for Thanksgiving Recess

 This week, lawmakers returned to their home states and districts for the week-long Thanksgiving recess. They are expected to return to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, November 28th to resume their work on comprehensive tax reform legislation.

In the meantime, many Members of Congress will be holding town hall meetings or attending local events in their home states and districts. The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) encourages its members and supporters to attend these events and to ask questions of their elected officials, such as the following three.

  1. Roughly 56 percent of older taxpaying households paid income taxes on a portion of their Social Security benefits this year, even though many of them only made twice the federal poverty level in income. Do you believe this is fair, and if not, why was it left out of comprehensive tax reform legislation?
  2. Around 5 million taxpayers over the age of sixty-five rely upon the medical expense tax deduction when their out-of-pocket medical costs total more than 10 percent of their annual income. Do you support the provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) that would eliminate this critical tax deduction?
  3. Most Americans contribute 6.2 percent of every paycheck to Social Security, but due to the payroll tax cap, people earning more than $127,200 contribute nothing over that amount. Eliminating this cap through tax reform legislation would extend the solvency of the Social Security program responsibly, without cutting benefits. Do you agree?

For more information on town hall meetings near you during the holiday recess, click HERE. For more sample questions for your elected officials, click HERE.

The Senior Citizens League Gains Support for Key Bills

 Over the past week The Senior Citizens League saw support grow for two key pieces of legislation. The Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 2575) gained three new cosponsors in Representative Brian Higgins (NY-26), Representative Ryan Costello (PA-06), and Representative Tom O'Halleran (AZ-01) which brings the cosponsor total up to ten. If signed into law, H.R. 2575 would help educate older Americans who are approaching Medicare eligibility about their benefits and the application process. The legislation would also simplify the Medicare enrollment process.

The second bill is the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R.1205) that gained three new cosponsors in Representative Hal Rogers (KY-05), Representative David McKinley (WV-01), and Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04), which brings the cosponsor total to 161. If signed into law H.R. 1205 will repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). For more information about both of these bills visit the Bill Tracking portion of our website HERE.