(UnitedVoice.com) – When President Joe Biden took office in 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan within weeks, and he signed it into law. The coronavirus stimulus package provided $1.9 billion in aid to the country and created a Special Financial Assistance program. However, the administration didn’t announce the rules for that program until July 2022.
Several months after announcing the rules, Biden is using the American Rescue Plan’s Special Financial Assistance to award the largest-ever bailout to unions.
Pension Fund Troubles
On December 8, the White House published a fact sheet informing the public about the historic bailout. Biden is providing the Central States Pension Fund $36 billion to help shore up the retirement benefits for some 350,000 workers and retirees.
Biden made the announcement at an event with Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Teamster retirees and workers, Teamster President Sean O’Brien, and AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. The move by the administration means the pension fund will remain solvent until at least 2051. Before the announcement, the fund was in serious trouble.
Union pensioners were looking at cuts as high as 60% in the coming years. Experts projected the Central States Pension Fund to become insolvent as early as 2026 if the federal government didn’t step in. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which has already approved the massive bailout, partially insures the fund.
The bailout will benefit food processors, truck drivers, construction, and warehouse workers across America. Figures provided by the White House revealed the move saved retirements for workers in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
Reactions to Bailout
CNBC reported the assistant labor secretary for worker benefits security, Lisa Gomez, applauded Biden’s decision. She said union workers and their loved ones would be “able to breathe a huge sigh of relief” because their retirement benefits won’t have to suffer “steep cuts.”
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) of the House Ways and Means Committee issued a statement slamming the decision. He accused Democrats of supporting a bailout that only helped a minority of workers and blamed the fund’s insolvency on the Left. The GOP committee leader claimed Dems allowed the executives who “mismanaged pensions to determine whether their funds qualify for taxpayer assistance with no safeguards.” As a result, he said Americans would have to foot the bill for the poor decisions.
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) criticized the decision in a tweet.
Joe Biden is spending $36 billion of YOUR tax dollars to bailout big unions that have failed to properly manage their money.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) December 8, 2022
Do you support the latest Biden bailout, or do you think that money had better use?
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