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Washington Report – Oct. 16, 2018

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: October 17, 2018

A bill to reform the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) – the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2018 (H.R. 6933) – was introduced. This legislation would repeal the WEP, replacing it with a new Social Security benefit formula designed to more accurately account for years a public employee paid into Social Security versus the years paid into a public pension system in a non-Social Security covered position; In a victory for NAPO, the Senate passed the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor Act (H.R. 3834) by unanimous consent on Oct. 12, right before adjourning for recess until after Election Day. The House passed the bill by voice vote Sept, 26, so it is on its way to the President to be signed into law. This important legislation would reestablish the original 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor, which would be provided by the President to the families of those police officers, firefighters, and EMTs who have died due to their exposure to toxic chemicals during the rescue and recovery efforts following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act reauthorized the World Trade Center Health Program until 2090 and reauthorized and fully-funded the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) at $7.3 billion for 5 years. Unfortunately, this is not enough as the Special Master of the VCF has recently indicated that given the significant increase in claims just from the last year alone, the Fund may not be able to fully compensate all claims. NAPO does not believe that changing the policies and procedures to cut much-needed benefits is the way to go. We are instead focusing on reauthorizing the VCF earlier than the 2020 deadline to ensure the Fund has the monies necessary to compensate all victims and survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack; and after a long and contentious confirmation process, the Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to be a U.S. Supreme Court Justice by a 50-49 vote, with one Democrat voting in favor of the nomination and one Republican voting against it. Justice Kavanaugh had his first day on the bench on Oct. 9, only missing one week of the Supreme Court’s 2018-2019 term. For more information on these and other legislative initiatives, please click on the link below.

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