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Pension Protection Act of 2005

Location: Washington, DC

PENSION PROTECTION ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 15, 2005)


Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot think of anything more scary, anything worse than working one's lifetime, working hard every day and then seeing their pension go before them, seeing their pension get terminated. That is the worst possible thing that could happen to a worker and to a family.

We have a system that needs fixing, Mr. Speaker. We have a pension system that has some loopholes where companies could not put money in their pension plan when they needed to, to make them funded, and then we have a system that disincentivizes companies from putting more money in their pension plan to prefund the workers and employees when they have one and they have the will to do so. That is wrong, and that needs to be fixed.

Yet, on the other hand, Mr. Speaker, as this legislation was being drafted, we want to make sure we get to a time where companies fully fund their workers' pensions. Getting to that transition was difficult, and I want to thank the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Thomas; the chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, Mr. Boehner, for working with us to address our concerns specifically on behalf of the auto sector. Because of this, the issues surrounding credit balances, plant shutdown benefits and those things that were raised by the auto sector, by the UAW, have been addressed in this legislation, are being addressed in this manager's amendment.

I opposed this bill in committee. I was the only Republican to do so. But, Mr. Speaker, we have fixed this legislation. This legislation is good for labor. This legislation is good for management. But, most importantly, this legislation is good to the employees and the workers of America.

I encourage and I ask for a yes vote on this bill because it is fixed. It is good, and it should pass.


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