(HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.) – Today, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) joined Sen. Check Schumer (D-N.Y.) at a press conference at Teamsters Local 707 in Hempstead, N.Y. to announce his co-sponsorship of the Butch Lewis Act of 2017 (H.R.4444/S.2147), legislation that will assist pension plans facing insolvency. Rep. King is the first Republican member of Congress to join the bill as a sponsor.
The Butch Lewis Act of 2017, which was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) on Nov. 16, would provide a path to fixing the country’s growing pension crisis by providing the financial support the plans need to avoid insolvency.
“I am proud to support the Butch Lewis Act and I commend Jim Hoffa for his leadership,” Rep. King said. “Protecting retirees who worked hard for their pensions should not be a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats should work together to allow workers to live their retirement years in dignity. It’s time to get started.”
The legislation would establish a new agency that will be called the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA) within the U.S. Treasury Department. The PRA would be authorized to issue bonds in order to finance loans to pension plans in financial distress.
Kevin McCaffrey, President of Teamsters Local 707 joined Rep. King and Sen. Schumer to voice his support for the legislation.
“Like many other workers, our members have unfairly been the victims of failed government policies which have threatened their way of life and plans of retiring with dignity,” McCaffrey said. “I am proud to stand with these two elected officials who are stepping up to make a difference in the lives of working families.”
“The Teamsters Union thanks Rep. King for his leadership in co-sponsoring this bill,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “This legislation is too important to be delayed by partisan politics. The pension crisis must be addressed now, and the Butch Lewis Act is the best option. We must protect the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of active and retired workers across the country.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.