November 29, 2018
The Honorable Gwen Moore
2252 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Moore:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I write to endorse your legislation, H.R. 7146, the “Maintain Access to Vital Social Security Services Act of 2018.” The National Committee commends you for introducing this legislation, which establishes important new safeguards which will protect Americans’ access to the vitally important services provided by the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) network of local field offices.
Unfortunately, for years SSA has conducted a campaign to close or consolidate field offices and limit the hours during which offices are open to serve the public. The National Committee has frequently expressed concern about the impact of these closures and consolidations on the agency’s ability to serve those seniors and people with disabilities who depend on the service SSA’s local offices provide.
Your legislation, H.R. 7146, establishes procedures for SSA to follow when it proposes to close or consolidate any of the agency’s local field offices, including a temporary moratorium on all office closures until SSA has submitted a report to the Congress regarding the effect of past offices closures and consolidations on public service. Your bill creates new and powerful safeguards against hasty or ill-conceived office closures.
Moreover, your legislation provides that SSA’s annual budgets disclose any plans to close consolidate field offices or reduce services provided through the field offices. It also requires SSA to develop a plan to ensure that field offices are receiving sufficient resources to maintain adequate service delivery.
The National Committee supports the provisions included in your bill, and gladly endorses the “Maintain Access to Vital Social Security Services Act of 2018.” This bill represents a bold step in protecting SSA’s field office structure which continues to serve as the backbone of the agency’s plans for serving the needs of America’s seniors. We look forward to working with you in the 116th Congress to perfect this important legislation.
President and CEO