News – US – Parties bring more “Byrd rule” arguments to MP – Appeal


Senate assistants continued their whirlwind of meetings with House MP Elizabeth MacDonough on Thursday as Democrats slid their $ 1 9 trillion coronavirus relief package to the bottom of both chambers

Thursday morning discussion with staff in the finance, household and health, education, labor and pensions bodies centered on part of the House-drafted bill that included approximately $ 86 billion in multi-employer pension plans bordering on bankruptcy would pump

It’s a relatively small part of the overall package, but the pension scheme is of tremendous importance to Democratic supporters, and among the original advocates of similar laws in the last Congress, Joe Manchin III, D-WVa, was a key voices in the 50 -50 Senate

Republicans who claim the measure will be a costly “bailout” and payout to Democratic constituencies and donors have argued that the measure violates the Senate “Byrd Rule” which limits the effects of the deficit and alien material prohibits

The rules of the house were reported by the Ways and Means Committee but would affect the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974, which is under the jurisdiction of Education and Labor and HELP

The House Democrats will include a manager change in the House Rules Committee, adding references to the Finance Department, which manages the new Special Financial Aid program with the PBGC, as well as adjusting changes to the Internal Revenue Code. There are also a number of changes to the Tax codes in the pension title that affect retirement plans for individual employers and imply responsibility of Ways and Means and Finance

The question of jurisdiction is important as the finances have nearly $ 1 trillion in deficit spending under the 2021 budget resolution versus $ 305 billion for AID so when the pension rules are in the lap of HELP fall, this could displace other priorities in education and health care in the package

It would not be the first time that amendments to the Pensions Act affecting both ERISA and taxation legislation have been included in the vote under the jurisdiction of the Finance Committee. Other examples include the 2001 tax cuts; the 1997 balanced budget agreement; and the Deficit Reduction Act of 1990

The financial troubles of the Union pension plans are putting such a strain on the PBGC that the insurance company is in danger of running dry for multiple employers by 2026, at which point retirement benefits would be cut for both employees and already retired The Central States Fund Teamsters Union with around 360000 participants is expected to be insolvent in 2026

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the PBGC could continue to provide full benefits under the new grant program in the Reconciliation Act until the 2040s

“While the proposed multi-employer retirement plan solution is not perfect, it will keep an ugly COVID-aggravated situation from worsening significantly,” said a statement by the Retirement Security Coalition Thursday, which included the U. heardS Chamber of Commerce, American Benefits Council, United Association of Plumbers and Fitters, and UPS

The problem has been around for years, however, and President Joe Biden did not include a pension scheme in his proposals for a US $ 9 trillion virus relief package, which gives critics the opportunity to consider the measure as unrelated to COVID-19 relief and Not required to blow on an emergency bill

For Ways and Means markup earlier this month, Rep Tom Rice, R-SC, argued that the plans usually fall short of these assumptions as federal law allows these pension plans to make “unrealistic” assumptions about investment returns

The result is that unions are making retirement benefits they can’t afford and employers are making far fewer contributions than are required to fulfill those promises, Rice


“They promise these workers that when they retire they will pay them x dollars and they don’t put enough money into the plans to cover that,” said Rice. “And the plans are collapsing.” p>

Employees should have a separate meeting on Thursday to discuss the provisions of continued health insurance for laid-off workers under federal law known as COBRA

This is another issue for which both the Tax and Health and Labor Boards have different responsibilities It was unclear whether the legislative language requiring employers to give workers over their rights to the new 85 percent federal grants under the determination must inform, even under Byrd the reduction would cause

Meanwhile, Capitol Hill was still nervous, waiting for MacDonough’s guidance on whether increasing the minimum wage on the house bill to $ 15 over five years would pass the Byrd Test

In the Senate, C-SPAN inducted Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and asked MacDonough if she had made a decision. “We haven’t published anything,” MacDonough replied

Coronavirus, United States Senate, MPs, Democratic Party

News – US – Parties bring more Byrd rule arguments to MP – appeal