Make Pension Security A Priority

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 5, 2018
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Speaker, every American who works hard and plays by the rules should be able to retire in dignity, supported by the pension that they have earned.

Instead of protecting these hardworking Americans, this Republican- led Congress prioritized tax cuts for the biggest corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Now some of the largest pension plans for workers are on the verge of collapse; 1.5 million Americans, including 43,000 in my home State of Michigan, are at risk.

These workers have earned their pensions. They worked a lifetime contributing to them, and now they are having the rug pulled out from under them?

Patricia from Michigan is one of those retirees. Here is what she told my office: ``I was a single mother raising one child. I thought putting money into the pension was my security. Now you want to take it away. I was never on welfare--I worked. If I lose my pension, I will not be able to pay for the basics: utilities, taxes, car insurance, food.''

So unless Congress steps up, pensions for Americans like Patricia will be cut. Let's vote on bipartisan legislation that I cosponsored, the Butch Lewis Act, which addresses this pension crisis. This legislation ensures that multiemployer pension plans remain solvent and continue providing retirees and workers with the retirement benefits that they have earned. It is long past time to take up this legislation.