Senate-House conferees probably will not begin meeting on the complicated Social Security financing bill until the end of the month. Thai's the controversial legislation that would raise Social Security taxes for workers and employers, and - in the Senate bill - cut back "dependent" benefits for anybody drawing a federal or public pension.
The House-approved Social Security bill doesn't deal with the issue of "double dipping" by federal retirees who get a civil service annuity and also are entitled to get dependent benefits based on earnings of a spouse while under Social Security.
The Carter administration is pressing for the dependent benefits cutback, arguing that it gives millions of dollars a year to civil service retirees whose own annuities are sufficent.
The Senate argument - endorsed by the White House - is that people entitled to a civil service or public pensions should have their Social Security dependent payments reduced, based on the amount of their annuity. It is called "offsetting."
Workers and retirees who would be hit hard by the Senate language argue that Congress promised them the benefit years ago and that they based their retirement plans on it. They say the Senate now wants to change the rules and force many of them to lose all part of the Social Security dependent payments their spouses worked for.
The Senate Finance Commitee has been bombarded with calls in the past few weeks from irate persons on both sides of the questions. The House has not named its conferees yet but, if you want to get in your 2 cents worth to the Senate, here are the conferees name:
Chairman Russell B. Long (D-La.), Abraham A. Ribicoff (D-Conn.), Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.), Floyd K. Haskell (D.-Colo.), Daniel P. Moynihan (D-N.Y.), Carl T. Curtis (R-Neb.), William V. Roth. (R-Del.) and Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.).
You Promised! AFL-CIO'S Public Employees Department has called on the Labor Department to live up to contract language it agreed to under the Ford administration. The agreement was that Labor here would restrict hiring and promotions in many instances to employees of the department here.
That agreement, which many called a "closed shop" caused howls from other federal agencies. Labor begged for relief from the Civil Service Commission, which finally said the agreement violated merit staffing regulations. Union leaders at the department are furious with Labor for backing out of the agreement. Yesterday they persuaded the PED conference here to ask Labor Secretary F. Ray Marshal to implement the agreement. Marshal, who was a speaker at the PED session, was there when the resolution was adopted.