WASHINGTON, DC – As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote today on the nomination of Gordon Hartogensis to serve as Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today reaffirmed their commitment to solving the pension crisis. Brown and Portman both plan to support Hartogensis’ nomination, as they did during the Finance Committee’s vote last month. The Senators remain committed to a bipartisan solution to prevent the pending insolvency of the agency, and to the immediate crisis that threatens millions of earned pensions, more than 60,000 Ohioans, and thousands of small businesses around the country. The Senators made meaningful progress towards a bipartisan agreement last fall with Chairman Orrin Hatch on the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans, and are working with the PBGC and stakeholders throughout the multiemployer system to make sure any legislative solution will benefit Ohio.
“What Washington doesn’t understand is that workers sat at the negotiating table and gave up raises because they were counting on these pensions when they retired. We are grateful to the Ohio workers, retirees and businesses whose tireless efforts have brought us this far, and are committed to continuing our work until Congress passes the solution Ohioans deserve,” said Brown. “We look forward to working with Mr. Hartogensis as we seek a solution to the multiemployer pension crisis. We know from first-hand experience that he is inheriting a talented and dedicated team of career professionals.”
“Throughout the process of working together on comprehensive pension reform, the PBGC has consistently been there to assist members of Congress with the thorough, nonpartisan technical analysis that we need,” said Portman. “I look forward to working with Mr. Hartogensis and the team at PBGC, as well as Ohio small businesses, workers, and retirees, as Senator Brown and I continue our work on this important issue.”
Last year, Senators Brown and Portman served on the House and Senate Joint Select Committee on Pensions. Following the expiration of the Joint Select Committee, both Senators have continued working together to find a solution to the pension crisis.
Last month, Brown and Portman also introduced the Pension Accountability Act to help protect Ohioans from having their hard-earned pensions cut with no say in the process. The bill aims to give workers and retirees a seat at the table when a looming multiemployer pension bankruptcy may require major pension cuts.