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Graves’ Social Security Fix Takes Another Step Forward – House Ways and Means Committee to Hold Hearing on WEP and GPO

U.S. Representatives Garret Graves (South Louisiana) announced today that the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing in Washington, D.C. on the Windfall Elimination Penalty (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. In March 2024, Graves and Representative Abigail Spanberger (Virginia) called on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee to hold a markup on their bipartisan bill, H.R. 82 – the Social Security Fairness Act, to fully repeal both the WEP and GPO. The bill would provide relief to victims of these unfair, outdated penalties that have reduced Social Security benefits for millions of public servants for decades. H.R. 82 has more than 300 cosponsors and is currently the second-most cosponsored bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Louisiana and America’s teachers, firefighters, police and others have been punished for decades for their public service. There could not be a better time than now to fix the punitive policy that has robbed these folks of the Social Security they earned,” said Graves. "The Committee has taken great measures to ensure fairness and thoughtfulness in this reform effort – of which 312 of our colleagues agree – which is why we support the Committee to take this bold step.”


  • WEP affects two million social security beneficiaries, and GPO impacts 780,000 retirees. WEP is a formula used to reduce the Social Security benefits for individuals who paid into both civil service pensions and Social Security throughout their careers. While the WEP was intended to prevent “windfalls,” in practice, it unfairly penalizes public servants that paid into Social Security just like everyone else. GPO reduces the spousal dependent benefits of individuals who did not pay into Social Security themselves by two-thirds of their government pension. In some cases, this results in individuals receiving zero Social Security benefits, even if their spouse paid in their entire working career.
  • Graves and Spanberger introduced H.R. 82 – the Social Security Fairness Act in the 118th Congress on January 9, 2023; the bill fully repeals both WEP and GPO.
  • On September 13, 2023, Graves and Spanberger hosted a press conference with stakeholders on the progress and momentum of H.R. 82.
  • In November 2023, Graves and Spanberger led a formal request signed by 100 Members of Congress requesting that the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee hold a hearing on WEP/GPO reform.
  • On November 20, 2023, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee held a WEP/GPO field hearing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the St. George Fire Department.

Graves added, “In November 2023, the House Ways and Means Committee held a field hearing on these penalties that effectively defund public servants, right at home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And after hearing directly from victims of WEP and GPO, seeing how they unfairly have their hard-earned retirement benefits slashed just because they or their spouse decided to serve their state or community, the Committee received more than 800 written submissions from victims in the same predicament across the country. Our bill to fully repeal both of these deeply flawed penalties has immense support and is heavily championed both inside and outside of Congress, and it’s time for it to move forward. We applaud the Committee in taking the next steps necessary here in Congress so that we can pass this bipartisan legislation as soon as possible.”