[Congressional Record Volume 168, Number 152 (Wednesday, September 21, 2022)]
[Page H8016]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                        SOCIAL SECURITY FAIRNESS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from 
Louisiana (Ms. Letlow) for 5 minutes.
  Ms. LETLOW. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express disappointment and 
frustration of thousands of my constituents after our effort to bring 
H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act, to the floor for a vote, 
which was delayed this week.
  The Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset 
are unfair, bureaucratic deductions that cheat nearly 2 million 
Americans out of their earned Social Security benefits.
  These rules impact our public servants--the teachers who educate our 
children, firefighters and police officers who keep our communities 
safe. At a time when we desperately need more men and women to enter 
these fields, knowing these penalties exist deter them from pursuing 
these occupations.
  WEP and GPO have been in place since the 1980s and Congress has 
ignored this problem for decades. I want to be clear, we are not trying 
to create new entitlement programs or forgive debt. We are trying to 
ensure that retirees obtain the benefits that are rightly theirs.
  Just last week, I received a letter from Carla Moreau, a teacher from 
Bunkie, Louisiana, who retired after spending 23 years in the 
  Carla recently lost her husband, Gerard, to cancer at age 60. 
However, due to WEP and GPO, she is ineligible to receive his Social 
Security survivor benefits simply because she was a teacher. If Carla 
had chosen any other profession outside of public service, she would 
automatically receive those benefits just like any other American 
  Mr. Speaker, Carla's story is just one of the many from across my 
district and around our country, and each one is heartbreaking and 
unjust. Not a single day goes by that I don't hear from a constituent 
who is impacted.

                              {time}  1030

  Since I took office over 1 year ago, almost 3,000 people have 
contacted my office to ask us to fix WEP and GPO--by far, the most 
calls concerning a single issue.
  High inflation and record price hikes continue to plague our Nation, 
and now, by refusing to address WEP and GPO, this Congress is 
essentially telling hardworking Americans that they must either not 
retire, reenter the workforce, or find other means to make ends meet.
  It is astounding to me that this administration and the Democratic 
majority spend trillions to forgive student loans, bail out private 
industry, and create new government programs, but the people impacted 
by WEP and GPO continue to be ignored.
  My colleague from Illinois, Rodney Davis, brought forward H.R. 82 to 
repeal WEP and GPO. I am a proud cosponsor of this bill, along with 
nearly 300 other Members of this House.
  Since the 117th Congress convened, we worked together as Democrats 
and Republicans to find a way to bring this bill to the floor for a 
vote. After nearly a year and a half of being denied, we worked to have 
it placed on the Consensus Calendar, a process that could force the 
bill to come to the House floor.
  Only when we were on the cusp of forcing a floor vote and had 300 
Members ready to support this measure did Democratic leadership take 
action to remove the legislation from the Consensus Calendar and 
essentially bog it down in a backlog.
  Mr. Speaker, it is unconscionable to me that some would play 
procedural games and deny this body the opportunity to vote on a bill 
that fixes such an obvious wrong.
  What am I supposed to say to the people like Carla Moreau? That 
despite the fact that we were sent here to solve problems, we will just 
kick the can down the road?
  Is that really the answer that we are okay with relaying to her and 
the 2 million Americans who are adversely impacted?
  Mr. Speaker, I was sent here to represent the people of the Fifth 
District of Louisiana, and today, I can say with grave sincerity that 
their voices, along with 2 million other Americans, continue to be 
  Instead of my standing behind this podium today, we should be doing 
the will of the people and bringing H.R. 82 to the floor for a vote.