House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., confirmed that pension bill H.R. 397 (Butch Lewis Act) is ready for a floor vote. Some are estimating that the cost of the legislation could be roughly $65 billion, although the proposed loan program could actually be revenue neutral if each of the recipients of the loans pays back the principal in year 30.
If the legislation passes through the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate must agree to take up the legislation. During the review of the legislation by the Ways and Means and Education and Labor Committees, Democrats had rejected 12 amendments along party-line votes. There are roughly 13 additional amendments that were withdrawn with an eye toward bringing them forward for consideration in a final Bill.
As we’ve highlighted many times, inaction at this time is unacceptable. Failure to support these critically important pension systems jeopardizes the economic future for more than 1.3 million American workers and retirees. A pay-as-you-go approach is far more expensive than one that has a 30-year lifeline to meet future obligations.