Maloney Floor Statement on Pension Reform (H.R. 2830)
Mr. Speaker I rise in opposition to H.R. 2830, the Pension Protection Act of 2005.
Any bill that is called the “Pension Protection Act” should protect pensions, but the bill we have before us makes things worse in many ways for many current pensioners in this country and for many future pensioners.
First and foremost, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation was first created to protect some of the retiree benefits of people if pension plans went bust or the corporations went bust. We are now told that this legislation makes that problem worse. The Congressional Budget Office tells us that this will make it at least $9 billion worse over the next decade.
This is an agency that can look out into the future and can see up to $100 billion of liabilities possibly coming their way. Much of which will come because this bill makes it easier to terminate plans. Simply, it makes it easier to put plans into bankruptcy.
This bill does nothing to solve the problems we have seen with airline industry pensions because their pension plans can be dumped during bankruptcy just as easily as they can now. This bill does nothing to prevent this.
The way we can tell that this legislation does not do the job is the way the Republican Leadership is making us debate the bill by taking the unusually restrictive step of not allowing us to debate substitute legislation. I guess they realize that this bill is so bad that if they allowed us the substitute, it certainly would have prevailed over this legislation. I would have supported the legislation that Congressmen Rangel and George Miller had prepared.
I urge my colleagues to vote against this legislation. It’s only accomplishment is to make the problems of America's pensioners even worse than they are today.