May 17, 2018

Manchin: We've Taken Care of Everyone Except the Working People

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) participated in a Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans hearing where he questioned The Honorable W. Thomas Reeder, Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation about the looming deadline facing the United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension Plan.

“If we’re able to come to the aid of every corporation that has an effect on the economy of this country then surely to God we can come to the aid and the help of the people who made this country. That’s what we’re talking about,” Senator Manchin said. “We have to agree that we have a crisis on our hands. Any time you put a financial institution in front of a human being, you’ve got a problem. And that’s what’s been happening for far too long. We’re talking about putting undue burden on businesses and we don’t want to do that. We just gave the biggest tax cut in the history of the United States of America and we can sit here and debate it all day long. Too much, not enough, whatever. But everyone got a benefit from that except the working people. Now we’re afraid we’re adding a little bit more of a premium but a short term premium is not going to solve my miner’s problem. We need to know how we can do this.”

The Joint Select Committee was created as part of the overall budget compromise that passed in February. The committee is instructed to report a bill by the last week of November, and will be required to hold at least five public meetings, including 3 hearings so that members of Congress can hear directly from retirees, workers and businesses affected by the pension crisis. The solution that the committee produces will be guaranteed an expedited vote in the Senate without amendments.

To watch Senator Manchin’s questioning, click here.