WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross, a leader on retirement security in Congress, voted in favor of the H.R. 397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act – commonly called “The Butch Lewis Act” – which addresses the nation’s worsening multiemployer pension crisis. The act passed by a vote of 26-18 out of the House Committee on Education and Labor.
“I participated in the multiemployer pension system for 37 years, as both a rank-and-file worker and a negotiator. I know firsthand that workers have earned their pensions and deserve safe, secure retirements,” said Congressman Norcross, an electrician by trade. “Today we took an important first step in protecting the hard-earned retirement security of hundreds of thousands of working families and retirees across the country. After the financial collapse, Congress acted to take care of Wall Street. If you can save the banks, you can save the people.”
The Butch Lewis Act prevents the imminent catastrophic collapse of the multiemployer pension crisis, while protecting retirees’ benefits and saving taxpayers billions of dollars. Specifically, it:
- Creates a new office within the Department of Treasury called the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA).
- Enables the PRA to provide 30-year loans to eligible plans.
Norcross joined Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (MA-01) and eight bipartisan colleagues in introducing the Butch Lewis Act earlier this year.
Endorsing organizations include AARP, the Bakery and Confectionary Union and Industry BlackRock, BNY Mellon, the International Pension Fund, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), John Hancock, the National Retirees Legislative Network (NLRN), the Pension Rights Center, PNC Financial Services Group, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust.
- Norcross wrote about retirement insecurity in an op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer on January 23, 2019 and said that in the 116th Congress “we have a new opportunity to prevent terms like “senior poverty” from becoming the norm.”
- Norcross and nine bipartisan colleagues introduced The Butch Lewis Act on January 9, 2019.
- Norcross vowed to continue fighting to solve the retirement security crisis on November 29, 2019.
- Norcross was appointed to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Multiemployer pensions on February 23, 2018.
Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director