WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released a statement today, following the recess appointment of Joshua Gotbaum to serve as Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). In May, Brown placed a hold on the nomination of Gotbaum, who has recused himself from any decision-making related to Delphi, in order to urge the Administration to bring General Motors to the table to meet the pension obligations of Delphi retirees. The Administration appointed Director Gotbaum during the Senate's July recess in order to circumvent Brown's hold.
"I do not question Mr. Gotbaum's specific qualifications or his commitment to public service; however, I am extremely disappointed that the President would place Mr. Gotbaum at the head of the PBGC before ensuring a fair resolution of the outstanding pension issues for all Delphi retirees. Mr. Gotbaum has already made it clear that he must recuse himself from issues related to the Delphi bankruptcy and the Delphi pensions. There are both salaried and union Delphi retirees who have yet to receive the pensions they earned and deserve, and that issue should have been addressed before this action was taken."
Brown invited a representative of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) in Oct. 2009. In December 2009, Sen. Brown and Rep. Ryan testified on behalf of the Delphi retirees before the House Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee (HELP).
Brown and Ryan have introduced legislation that would create a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association (VEBA) to provide health coverage to Delphi and union hourly workers. They also led a bipartisan group of nine Senators and 24 Representatives from Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, and New York in a letter to the President calling for the federal government to restore fairness for Delphi retirees and minimize the economic effect of the pension loss on their communities.
Brown has cosponsored legislation which would curb abuses that deny employees and retirees of their pensions when businesses collapse. The Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act would make several changes to Chapter 11 bankruptcy law, emphasizing worker and retiree interests when companies file for bankruptcy.