When we work in America, we make a contract with Social Security and Medicare that earns us benefits throughout our lives and into our retirement.
It is critical that we protect and strengthen these programs for all Americans. Some professions, public sector jobs, and the military in some states and throughout America are treated differently, leading to a breach of that contract.
If you or your spouse pay into Social Security and Medicare, you should be able to receive those spousal benefits regardless of where you’ve worked. Teachers and their spouses in Illinois, however, are getting screwed because of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO).
Under the WEP and GPO, workers who have paid into Social Security and Medicare have their spousal benefits dramatically cut, sometimes eliminating their Medicare coverage late in life when their spouse passes away. We must protect these spousal benefits for all Americans because these are earned benefits. It’s the right thing to do.
I would support the Social Security Fairness Act of 2017, which has broad bipartisan support. It’s one of the areas where my opponent and I are in agreement.
Unfortunately for our teachers and spouses, this bill has been sitting in the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security since March of 2017. It is not even listed on the Subcommittee’s website as a bill introduced in the 115th Congress, so the GOP is not serious about solving this problem.
That is why we need a Congress that will move this legislation forward instead of letting it die in a subcommittee for over a year and a half.
I will push for this reform as your representative and voice in Washington.