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115 House Members Sign Norwood Letter Seeking Airline Pension Help

Date: March 13, 2006
Location: Washington, DC

115 House Members Sign Norwood Letter Seeking Airline Pension Help

March 13, 2006

(Washington, DC) - The pensions of current and former airline employees would receive additional protections if the U.S. House of Representatives adopts an airline pension funding rule already approved by the Senate, according to U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA) and 115 other House members from both parties.

Norwood today forwarded a letter with 115 cosponsors to the Chairman and Ranking Members of the House-Senate Conference on pension reform, encouraging the Conference to accept the airline funding rule from the Senate version of the legislation, S. 1783.

Section 403 of the Senate bill, originally introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), gives the airline industry additional time to make catch-up contributions to their pension funds, rather than having to default on their plans through bankruptcy. If airlines are forced to default and turn over insolvent plans to the federally funded Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), retirees could lose more than half of their retirement pay.

"By allowing our airline industry a little extra time to get their finances back in order, we will be giving airline industry retirees the greatest possible chance of receiving their entire pension," says Norwood. "This measure has already passed the Senate 97-2, and with this showing of overwhelming bipartisan support in the House, it should be included in the final version of pension reform we pass this year."

Letter and Co-Signers List:

March 16, 2006

Dear Conference Chairmen and Ranking Members:

As you work to craft the pension reform conference report, we want to emphasize that the final product must include the airline funding rule as reflected in the Senate version, S.1783.

In our view, pension reform legislation must include an identical airline funding rule to that which was adopted by the Senate as section 403 of S. 1783. We believe that the Senate language provides a critical tool for carriers in the financially-troubled airline industry to try to preserve their employees' pension plans.

The Senate provision enjoys strong support in both chambers, and we believe that inclusion of section 403 of the Senate bill in the pension reform conference report will help to ensure overwhelming bipartisan support for the conference report when it is brought before the House for final consideration.

Again, we look forward to working with you to complete work on this important legislation and appreciate your leadership on this issue.


Charlie Norwood
Jim Ramstad
Rick Larsen
John Sullivan
Ed Case
Todd Akin
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Phil Gingrey
Collin Peterson
Rob Bishop
Joe Schwarz
Steve Chabot
William Lacy Clay
Ron Paul
Robert Wexler
Rob Simmons
Dan Boren
Frank A. LoBiondo
John Barrow
Adam Smith
Charkes W. Pickering
Mike Thompson
Jean Schmidt
Mario Diaz-Balart
Mike Ross
Tim Murphy
Adam Schiff
Joe Baca
Stephanie Herseth
Richard H. Baker
Jay Inslee
Michael McCaul
John E. Sweeney
David Scott
Ric Keller
Shelley Berkley
Kay Granger
Kenny Marchant
Tom Price
Melissa L. Bean
John Shimkus
Dennis Rehberg
John Linder
Betty McCollum
Todd Russell Platts
Ellen O. Tauscher
Kendrick B. Meek
Barbara Cubin
Lynn A. Westmoreland
Timothy Bishop
Jim Matheson
David Reichert
John S. Tanner
Russ Carnahan
Phil English
Mark Kennedy
Ray LaHood
Leonard Boswell
Raul M. Grijalva
Ben Chandler
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Sam Graves
Pete Sessions
John Boozman
Al Green
Geoff Davis
Ted Poe
Thaddeus G. McCotter
Emanuel Cleaver II
Gregory W. Meeks
Mike Honda
Vernon Ehlers
Michael C. Burgess
Dennis Moore
John Abney Culberson
Dale Kildee
Nathan Deal
Eleanor Homes Norton
Don Young
Fred Upton
Henry A. Waxman
Donald M. Payne
Lane Evans
Donald A. Manzullo
Peter Hoekstra
Jack Kingston
Lincoln Diaz-Balart
Rosa DeLauro
Chet Edwards
Nick J. Rahall II
Sherrod Brown
John D. Dingell
Gene Green
Martin Olav Sabo
Frank D. Lucas
Bart Stupak
Alcee L. Hastings
James L. Oberstar
Michael Bilirakis
Richard W. Pombo
John Conyers, Jr.
Sanford D. Bishop Jr.
Darlene Hooley
Maurice D. Hinchey
Chris Cannon
Bob Ney
Jo Ann Emerson
Corrine Brown
Charles W. Norwood
Steven C. LaTourette
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Ed Pastor
Curt Weldon
Elliot L. Engel
Connie Mack
Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr.