The Senate version of the budget bill has a provision to establish a House-Senate Joint Select Committee to propose a solution to the pension crisis for consideration by Congress in December. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) who has been a strong supporter of the pension protection movement, announced it was the best he could do.
The Butch Lewis Act, a reasonable solution to the pension crisis, will not be enacted in the budget deal. This is a setback to the movement, but does not come as a surprise because the Republican leaders in Congress have not been supportive.
It remains to be seen if the House version of the budget bill includes the provision for the joint committee, which will be charged with holding public hearings and proposing a solution to Congress by the end of November. However, it will require bipartisan agreement to have the proposal come to a vote.
Read Senator Brown’s release explaining the proposal.
Brown summed up the situation: “Washington bailed out Wall Street, and Wall Street turned around and stole the pensions Ohioans worked for. Now Congress has a responsibility to protect the pensions workers earned before it is too late.”
The fight to protect earned pensions and protect pension promises continues – and has to grow in strength to push Congress to act.