Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Peter King joined Long Island Teamsters Tuesday in calling for union pension shortfalls to be funded through Treasury bonds tied to the federal budget.
Schumer (D-N.Y.) and King (R-Seaford) are pushing Congress to pass the Butch Lewis Act, which would create a new office within the Treasury Department to allow pension plans to borrow for any shortfall using Treasury bonds issued by the government to sell to financial institutions.
Schumer, the Senate minority leader, and King met with Teamsters Local 707 in Hempstead to push for the bill, which could help fund pensions for 4,500 Long Island families, including more than 3,700 retirees, Schumer said.
“These pensions are on the hook for billions and could collapse,” Schumer said. “We have an obligation to these folks. These people worked hard and never asked for much and should not be abandoned.”
Teamsters and elected officials say the 2008 recession led multi-employer pension plans to become insolvent and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. to be underfunded.
“We can’t blame it on the Democrats because we control the House and have a Republican president,” King said.
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