(WASHINGTON) – Today, the Teamsters Union called on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means to approve H.R. 397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, more commonly referred to as The Butch Lewis Act.
The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, offered by Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), was first introduced in Congress in November 2017 by Rep. Neal. The measure has 188 co-sponsors, including nine Republicans. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has again joined Rep. Neal in introducing the bill in the 116th Congress.
“H.R. 397 will ensure that we meet our obligations to current retirees and workers for years to come and do so without retiree benefit cuts,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said in a July 8 letter to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-Texas). “I urge you to approve H.R. 397.”
As it stands, there are more than 300 multiemployer pension plans across the country — including the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund — that are in danger of failing. The Teamsters have been fighting for years for a legislative solution and have worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to do so.
The measure would boost financially troubled multiemployer pensions plans so they don’t fail. It would create a new agency under the U.S. Treasury Department that would sell bonds in the open market to large investors such as financial firms. Those proceeds would then be used to bolster faltering pension plans as part of a 30-year loan program.
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.