PENSION PROTECTION ACT OF 2006 -- (Senate - August 03, 2006)
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I rise today in support of the Pension Protection Act. This has been a long process, but I am glad we were able to produce a bill that provides retirement security to millions of Americans while at the same time protects the taxpayers. These reforms provide tough rules to ensure that employers will keep their pension promises.
I would like to thank my colleague from Georgia, Senator Isakson, for all his hard work throughout this process. I appreciate it, and I know the folks back in Georgia appreciate it.
Many companies and their employees in my home State of Georgia support this legislation and will benefit from its provisions. For example, Kroger has grocery stores all over Georgia and employs 18,000 folks across the State, who are depending on their pensions when they retire. General Motors also has a large presence in Georgia with almost 14,000 retirees and 3,500 employees, many of whom are covered by a defined benefit pension plan. The United Parcel Service, UPS, is headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and over 127,000 of its employees participate in multiemployer pension plans.
The airline industry in particular has taken some economic hits over the years, and I am pleased that Congress was able to provide critical provisions for the airlines, ensuring that they will get the time they need to fulfill their pension obligations.
Delta Airlines is headquartered in Georgia, and has a longstanding history of service to passengers throughout the world and has been an exemplary corporate citizen. Like many other hard-working Americans, Delta's some 91,000 employees and retirees have devoted years of work and time to their employer.
While our airlines are in a unique situation, many of them like Delta maintain a strong commitment to keep the pension promises they made to their employees and retirees.
I would like to close by reiterating why we are here today: American workers deserve to know their pensions will be there when they retire. With the passage of this conference report, we can ease the fears of millions of employees and retirees by taking the steps necessary to help ensure that pension promises will be kept and employers, not the taxpayers, will be held accountable.