FEDERAL ACTION ALERT – October 23, 2022

Produced by the Legislative Committee of the Coconino County Democratic Party and Democrats of the Red Rocks

While our focus needs to continue on GOTV, here are a couple of quick actions that you can take to help ensure that Congress prioritizes unfinished business before it adjourns.

ENCOURAGE OUR CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO WORK TOWARDS PASSING AN EXPANSION OF THE CHILD TAX CREDIT.

Before it finally adjourns, Congress will be taking up a major end-of-year tax package. One item that deserves its attention is an expansion of the child tax credit.

In 2021, Congress included a temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan to help America recover from the COVID pandemic. This legislation passed the House and Senate with Democratic votes only; no Republican members of Congress voted for this essential relief.

The temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit that was included in the American Rescue Plan led to an historic – but temporary – reduction in child poverty. Before it expired, the expanded Child Tax Credit bolstered the ability of 40 million families to provide their families with the most basic life necessities — housing, food, clothes, and childcare.

It’s time to ask our congressional delegation to prioritize long term expansion of the Child Tax Credit.

ENCOURAGE OUR CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO WORK TOWARDS PASSAGE OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY FAIRNESS ACT OF 2021.

HR 82, the Social Security Act of 2021, and its companion bill in the Senate, S 1302, would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) of the Social Security Act for all beneficiaries, for benefits paid after December 2021. 

The GPO and WEP were enacted in 1977 and 1983, respectively. These provisions were intended to equalize Social Security benefit formulas for workers, their dependents, and survivors, whether their earnings came from inside or outside the government. However, in practice, the GPO and WEP unfairly penalize some public employees.

HR 82, which has passed out of committee and sent to the House, would repeal provisions of the Social Security Act that reduce Social Security benefits for individuals who receive other benefits, such as a pension from a state or local government. It would also eliminate the offset that reduces Social Security benefits for spouses, widows, and widowers who also receive government pensions of their own. Finally, it would repeal the WEP, which in some instances reduces Social Security benefits for individuals who also receive a pension or disability benefit from an employer who did not withhold Social Security taxes.

This legislation is supported by the Alliance for Retired Americans, Social Security Works, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. HR 82 is co-sponsored 305 members of Congress, including six of Arizona’s representatives, including Tom O’Halleran, Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva, and Ann Kirkpatrick; while S 1302 has 42 co-sponsors, including Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema. 

It is well within the realm of possibility that this bipartisan legislation, which has been introduced in previous congresses, could finally pass this year. Let’s encourage Congress to get the job done!

Contact our Senators and Congressman to encourage them to move these legislative matters to the top of their “To Do” List.

Sen. Mark Kelly: Call (202) 224-2235 (DC); Email via his website at https://www.kelly.senate.gov/contact/. Tag the Senator at @senmarkkelly.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema:  Call (202) 224-4521 (DC) or (602) 598-7327. Email via her website at

https://www.sinema.senate.gov/contact-kyrsten. Tag the Senator at @senatorsinema.

Rep. Tom O’Halleran: Call (202) 225-3361 (DC) or email via website at

https://ohalleran.house.gov/contact. Tag the Congressman @RepOHalleran

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