Recently, the leading Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following remarks at the House Rules Committee hearing on H.R.397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act.
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery:
“Thank you, Chairman McGovern and Ranking Member Cole.
“I must say that I sit here today, once again, with regret.
“I know Chairman Neal and Chairman Scott have sincere intentions. I don’t doubt that at all.
“But I feel like Democrats are rushing this partisan legislation to the House floor without Republican feedback, amendments, or support from Republicans in the Committees of jurisdiction.
“And that truly is a shame. Because ensuring a safe retirement for all retirees, including our union workers, is a bipartisan priority.
“There’s no question workers in those union-managed plans need a real solution.
“This partisan bill is not that solution.
“The legislation we’re considering today doesn’t make these union-managed pensions more stable.
“It certainty does not end underfunding.
“And more importantly, it doesn’t make these plans any more solvent over time.
“Today’s bill, if it were signed into law, would just force a future Congress to deal with this growing crisis.
“Union workers deserve – and demand – better from us.
“Rushing this partisan bill, with a price tag close to $140 billion over its 30 year life, is a huge mistake.
“And not to state the obvious, but this bill is already dead on arrival in the Senate.
“We all agree that there is an urgency to find a solution to make these plans solvent for the long run – and that solution needs to be bipartisan and include real reforms.
“For us Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee, we were hopeful to do good work together on this issue this year.
“But we were not invited to the table to have this discussion.
“Every commonsense amendment offered by Republicans in our Committee markup was shot down by the majority party.
“And I remain deeply concerned that rushing this legislation forward, as it is written today, actually will delay Congress from being able to begin to solve this crisis at all.
“This partisan bill is going to die a quick death after the House votes on it.
“This is an issue of mismanagement. The truth of the matter is these plans were mismanaged, overpromised, and put workers at risk. This bill doesn’t change anything.
“Instead, let’s find a bipartisan solution to offer certainty, stability, and accountability for these union-managed plans.
“Our union workers, their families, and our taxpayers are depending on it.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”