This is where I will address the most common questions and concerns that you might have.
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I have received a number of calls lately regarding the “Butch Lewis Act of 2017”, which is a bill that was introduced in Congress on November 16, 2017 by Senator Sherrod Brown (Democrat-Ohio) and Representative Richard Neal (Democrat-Massachusetts). If passed into law as drafted the Butch Lewis Act would rescue retirees of troubled pension plans, like me and you, by providing federal loans to the plans and prohibiting pension cuts. I encourage you to read more about the Butch Lewis Act at the IBT's website.
Personally – and unfortunately – I am not optimistic that the Butch Lewis Act will become law as drafted, at least not right now. Let’s be realistic. The Butch Lewis Act is co-sponsored by two Democrats, Congress and the White House is controlled by Republicans, and we live in an era where bipartisanship is rare. In fact, as of the date of this posting, I am not aware of a single Republican that has publicly supported the Butch Lewis Act.
If you want to see pension rescue legislation like the Butch Lewis Act passed into law you must make your voice heard, not by me but by your Congressmen. In this regard, I would like to share some interesting facts:
- On August 14th, 2017 I launched my website, wpateamstersretireerep.com
- My website includes a “LETTER CAMPAIGN” page – this page includes a model of a letter for you to send to your Congressmen advocating for legislation that would save us all from pension cuts.
- I encouraged all of you – and still encourage you – to send these letters and provided the mailing addresses for all of the Congressmen and Senators representing Western Pennsylvania.
- As of August 14th, 2017, the “LETTER CAMPAIGN” page has been viewed just 621 times, even though there are more than 17,000 retirees and deferred vested participants in the Pension Fund.
- Also available on my “LETTER CAMPAIGN” page are copies of letters I sent to all of the Congressmen and Senators representing Western Pennsylvania and President Trump explaining our dire circumstances and pleading for legislation to right this wrong – I sent this letter on September 22, 2017.
- As of December 11th,2017, only Representative Mike Doyle’s office (Democrat-PA 14th District) has responded to that letter.
I accepted the responsibility of serving as your Retiree Representative because I am willing to do my part to avoid pension cuts that would significantly impact my life and yours. But, brothers and sisters, I am but one voice and one voter. We all need to do our part if we want to see pension rescue legislation like the Butch Lewis Act passed into law. And to do our part, we must make our voices heard in Congress. No one is coming to save you – we must band together in solidarity and save ourselves.
Please visit my website at wpatrr.com to see the letters I have just sent to Western Pennsylvania Congressmen in support of the Butch Lewis Act. You can also go to wpatrr.com for a model letter you should send to your Congressmen in support of the Butch Lewis Act.
There is also a petition in support of the Butch Lewis Act you can sign online at Change.Org here. I am not endorsing Change.Org, but several of you have asked me about starting a petition and Change.Org already has one, so if you’d like to sign a petition supporting the Butch Lewis Act I suggest you do so there.
I have a favor that I’d like to ask from you…
Please do not spread information regarding the Pension Fund’s MPRA application that you do not personally know to be true. It helps no one and may actually cause others to become upset. If you hear a rumor about this process that worries you, e-mail me at email@example.com or call me at 724-382-4956 and ask me about it before you pass it along. Please. Thank you.