The Republican State Senator for District 2 is looking to trigger a conversation at the federal level regarding Social Security for civil servants in Texas.
State Sen. Bob Hall recently penned a letter to U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas. In it he calls on Brady to help revamp the federal Windfall Elimination Provision, or WEP – that’s a 1983 law designed to keep certain public servants, including teachers, from double dipping into publicly funded pensions and Social Security.
Brady, who represents Texas’ 8th Congressional District, has been working on an alternative to the WEP since 2015.
Hall says that teachers, firefighters, and police officers who HAVE paid into Social Security deserve to get their Social Security benefits. Many civil servants DID pay into the system before becoming civil servants, and those Social Security payments are nullified for retiring teachers and some first responders.
Hall’s opponent for District 2 is Democrat Kendall Scudder. In a statement, Scudder said he agrees with Hall, but also accused Hall of pandering over a federal issue that he has no control over as a state senator.
In response, Hall said he is trying to raise awareness about the issue, not solve it.
Fulll statements below.
Hall Letter to Brady
Kendall Scudder Response:
I agree with Sen. Hall on the need to guarantee public servants the full Social Security benefits they earned. I also understand that this is a federal issue and Sen. Hall should and could be doing more on a local level to help our public servants. He is pandering to teachers on a federal issue because he fights against them in the Texas Legislature, playing political games with retired teachers' lives, and they're on to his bull. If Sen. Hall really supported retired teachers, he would be fighting to protect their defined benefits system, secure their pensions, and stop gouging them on their health insurance.
Bob Hall Response:
I received many calls and questions concerning the social security windfall issue with requests to do something about it.
My newsletter about the issue and my letter to Congressman Brady were my way of raising awareness about an issue over which the state senate has no control. The more aware people are of a public policy issue the more likely it will be addressed by elected representatives.
Included in the newsletter was the link to an email that Congressman Brady has set up to receive personal stories about the way this issue has impacted constituents. I hope those who read it have taken the opportunity to share their stories with their federally-elected officials.