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Statement of Terry O’Sullivan on Congressional Agreement on Pensions
Washington, D.C. (December 11, 2014) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today on the Congressional agreement to hike taxes on multi-employer pension plans to rescue the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation:
Using parliamentary gimmicks and without debate or hearings, Congress is on a path to rob hundreds of millions of dollars from workers’ pensions to keep a failing government agency on life support.
Anyone who thinks the proposed back-room deal to double multi-employer pension taxes paid to the PBGC will help retirees is being disingenuous, saving face or prematurely hitting the eggnog. Shifting hard-earned pension funds from retirees’ plans will only cause more pensions to weaken.
The act is egregious, but the process is insulting. Democratic and Republican leaders are using an obscure parliamentary trick to shove this through in the last minutes of this Congressional session. The 161-page proposal is being included as a part of a “self-executing rule,” which will automatically attach to underlying legislation designed to keep the government from shutting down.
That Congressional leadership would use the threat of shutting down the government to prevent members of Congress from having the chance to understand or debate the proposal or to have a fair chance to vote on the measure is a textbook example of why the American people have virtually no faith in or respect for Congress.
The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.