Susan Muffley Act of 2022

Floor Speech

Date: July 27, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DAVIDSON. Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague, Congresswoman Foxx, for yielding. We disagree from time to time, and this is one of those.

I do agree that it shouldn't be seen as a partisan issue. The Democrats may see this as precedent-setting in a way that Republicans who support it don't. The precedent here isn't that every victim of fraud, and there are many when it comes to pensions, is going to somehow be made whole. Otherwise, you would create an incentive for people to commit fraud. One person takes the fall, and everyone else gets bailed out. That is not what this is.

When I listen to my colleague, Congressman Bob Good from Virginia, I might feel the same way if I didn't understand the facts of this situation. What this really amounts to is pension holders who were effectively the victims of civil asset forfeiture, which is an unjust and, in my opinion, unconstitutional practice that, sadly, is still tolerated.

This wasn't an underfunded pension. They weren't victims of fraud. Their pension was funded, and the government seized the assets. They seized what they said was the property of Delphi, a company in bankruptcy, but the reality is this is property of the pension holders. This is their retirement savings that was seized 13 years ago.

Thankfully, when Vice President Joe Biden said there is nothing we can do, in the intervening years, we found a way. I want to say thanks to Congressman Kildee from Michigan. I want to say thanks to my colleague, Mike Turner.

I was on Air Force One with him as we were flying from Andrews Air Force base to Dayton, Ohio. Congressman Turner took the lead, shared the message. We continued to work with President Trump at the time. He got it. He took action, and I think that this is one of the things where we have seen continuity.

I wish it would become a trend and that President Biden would carry many more policies with continuation. I think we would see great results because we are going to see great results out of this.

It sets the right precedent. I hope the precedent it sets is this government stops civil asset forfeiture altogether. It was unjust to do that to these pension holders, and I am glad that justice is finally going to come as a result of this bill.

Madam Speaker, I encourage all of my colleagues, even those who thought they were opposed to it, once you understand what is really going on here, to get on board and support this just bill.