When promises get made to working Americans and then those promises are broken, people lose confidence in their government.
That's exactly what has happened to 32,000 Missourians who are at risk of having their retirement yanked out from under them, and it's just plain wrong.
These Missourians, and the more than quarter-million other affected Americans, worked their entire lives paying into a system that they believed would be there for them. But in December 2014, Congress approved a sprawling, $1 trillion package of spending bills and tax giveaways, and tucked away in that bill was a provision allowing deep cuts to be made to retiree benefits for Americans drawing pensions from the Central States Pension Fund.
I opposed that bill. I've rarely been more proud to have voted "no" on a bad piece of legislation and it didn't bother me one bit that I was the only member of Missouri's delegation in Congress to do so.
I'm glad the United States Treasury rejected these proposed cuts to a very serious problem, giving time to Congress to work out a responsible solution that doesn't pull the rug out from these Americans. In the meantime, I'm supporting the Keep Our Pension Promises Act, to repeal the provision that made these cuts possible and the Pension Fund Integrity Act, to cut excessive executive compensation, stop raises and bonuses for executives, and prohibit financially troubled pension plans from using plan assets to hire outside lobbying firms if those plans cut benefits for their retirees.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Editor's note: For background on the insolvency of the Central States Pension Fund go here.