March 02,2006

Grassley: Democratic Obstruction Could Sink Much-needed Pension Reforms


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Pension bill delays
Da: Thursday, March 2, 2006

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today made the following
comment on delays in considering a pension reform bill. The Senate has been attempting to name
negotiators since December to a House and Senate conference committee to write a final pension
overhaul bill. The Democratic leader has held up the naming of conferees over the number of
Democrats who will be part of the talks.

“The pension talks are being held up because one person in the U.S. Senate can't make up
his mind on which two or three Democrats ought to be on a conference committee. If we don’t get
this resolved right away, I’m going to look into pulling the airline relief and the post-Enron reforms
out of the pension bill, adding them to the tax reconciliation bill, and the rest of pension bill will end
up dying because of the Democratic leader. Rank-and-file workers will suffer because the bill
strengthens pension funding. The airline provisions need to get done because if any more airlines
tank, the economy will tank right along with them. And employees have waited long enough for the
post-Enron reforms, such as the basic right to diversify from company stock. Enron collapsed in
2001 and we’ve been trying to enact these common-sense reforms ever since.”