Kaptur Votes to Pass Historic Butch Lewis Act
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) voted to pass the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, more commonly called the Butch Lewis Act, a landmark piece of legislation to address the nation’s worsening multiemployer pension crisis. Kaptur is an original cosponsor of the legislation.
Currently, there are about 1,400 multiemployer plans covering nearly 10 million people across the country. A significant number of these plans have funding problems, and many are almost certain to run out of money. It is estimated that 1.3 million retirees, workers, and their families, including 60,000 in Ohio, are set to lose benefits they earned over a lifetime of work, through no fault of their own.
Rep. Kaptur took to the House floor to speak in favor of the legislation [download video]:
“Mr. Chair, it is with great pleasure today that I rise in support of strong, bipartisan passage of the Butch Lewis Act and thank Congresswoman Torres for yielding me this time and Chairman Richard Neil of the Ways and Means Committee for moving this legislation expeditiously.
The Butch Lewis Act will provide the economic security this body ripped out from under millions of hardworking Americans in past Congresses.
Across our country, 1.3 million workers – truck drivers, candy makers, coal miners, and retirees face serious and significant threat of cuts to their hard-earned multiemployer pension plans, through no fault of their own.
Several of these plans are large enough to take down the entire Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, threatening the security of another 10 million Americans.
I have heard the message time and again from retirees in my district and across this nation: they worked for decades to earn these pensions and they cannot sustain these massive cuts. Now they are too old, or their health too unstable, to return to the workforce. The stress and anxiety are sapping their will. Some have taken their own lives.
The Butch Lewis Act assure they will receive their much needed and long-overdue pensions, again which they earned.
The Butch Lewis Act keeps the promises made to retirees, guaranteeing their pensions into the future. It does so by allowing impacted pension plans to borrow the money needed to remain solvent over a 30-year period of time with low interest loans. That they must pay back.
Pensions have afforded millions of middle-class Americans the opportunity to enjoy their golden years with economic peace of mind. Let us restore this peace to 1,300,000 Americans and retirees who earned these benefits with swift and just passage of the Butch Lewis Act.”
The Butch Lewis Act would ensure workers in failing multiemployer pension plans can receive the pensions and retirement security they earned. The Butch Lewis Act would create a new office within the U.S. Treasury Department, called the Pension Rehabilitation Administration to administer loans to troubled pension plans using the money from the sale of long-term bonds. These loans would allow multiemployer pension plans to remain solvent, grow their assets, and pay promised benefits to workers across the country, including truck drivers, steel & iron workers, and miners. Furthermore, it protects from the total collapse of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, which insures millions of currently solvent multiemployer and single employer pension plans.